Independent retailers celebrate Independents' Day 2014
Independent retailers across the country are celebrating Independents¬í Day today as part of a national campaign to recognise the contribution that independent businesses make to the UK economy.
Businesses are organising special events and promotions including themed window displays, high street festivities, discounts and offers. The public is also being encouraged to buy at least one item from an independent shop throughout the day.
The campaign, which is organised by People 1st and the National Skills Academy for Retail’s network of over 50 skills shops, is also being supported by local authorities and chambers of commerce. In addition, the day is backed by Dragons' Den star Theo Paphitis.
Jane Rexworthy, executive director People 1st - strategic partnerships and head of the National Skills Academy for Retail, said: “We have been delighted to see so many local authorities putting their weight behind local celebrations and working closely with their independent businesses to get them involved.
“Over the last four years, we have seen the campaign go from strength to strength and we are pleased to see that the locations involved have looked at the campaign as an opportunity to promote their local area and encourage their local community to use independent businesses.”
This year, the campaign is also looking to raise awareness of the range of support that is available to independent businesses to help them train their employees and become more competitive. This includes training programmes in customer service and 'Digital High Street' skills.
Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: "Independents' day is a great opportunity for people to show their support for small businesses - the lifeblood of our economy. It is part of the Government's long term economic plan to ensure that small businesses have the right environment to grow.
"The Digital High Street programme, launched this year, will help businesses take advantage of increasing opportunities online and the new markets that will open up."
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