Who doesn't love this time of year? The days are longer, the weather is better and school is almost over. But those aren't the only reasons to celebrate, because July is Independent Retail Month. So it's a reminder to support your local high street and pledge to #shoplocal and #shopsmall in July.
What is Independent Retail Month?
As a freelancer, making new business contacts is vitally important for my work. I met Catherine from Frome-based Beautiful British Designs at a recent networking event. She and her business partner, Janet, help Independent Retail Outlets find the best of British Designers without the need to leave their shops. The duo search the Trade Shows, Craft Fairs and Social Network sites to find Beautiful British Designs on behalf of smaller businesses.
Catherine explained that Independent Retail Month is a campaign that runs throughout July every year to celebrate the role that small, independent retailers play in their local communities.
The campaign aims to highlight the benefits that small independent businesses have within their surrounding community and to encourage people to shop locally. Independent shops provide many other services to their community other than just the bricks and mortar that you see.
Why choose independent?
Independent retailers and designers can offer some wonderfully unique products that you simply wouldn't be able to find elsewhere. Independent gift shops are a great example. If we all shopped at the same big chain stores, we'd all be wearing the same clothes and using the same products. So this is a great reason to #shopsmall. My fellow blogger, Rebecca's Reviews, runs a fantastic #ShopSmall series on her blog as well as a #SmallBiz support thread on her Twitter every weekend - do check her out.
Independent cafés and restaurants are another good example. They tend to take a more artisanal approach to their businesses than big chains. So food and drinks are created by highly skilled, talented, often local people, rather than a bunch of machines in a factory.
Independent retailers are a crucial component of a thriving local community. More people are making a pledge to shop at little independent stores to maintain the colour and vibrancy of their towns, villages and high streets. Without small businesses, the landscape of our communities would look very different.
Image supplied by www.tipperleyhill.com
Can you imagine a future where we all live in a bleak society and everyone is forced to either shop at huge malls that offer little choice or online, with no human interaction?
As you probably know, the high street is struggling at the moment and needs your support - this is what independent retail month is all about. To support this campaign, please buy just one thing from your local shop. Or better still, why not try to purchase from independent businesses throughout the month of July? If we each all bought one small thing, it could make a huge difference and help keep our high streets colourful and vibrant.