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Theo Paphitis champions Independents' Day

Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis has pledged his support for the Independents’ Day campaign taking place on 4 July which will celebrate and promote independent retailers across the UK.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Theo Paphitis champions Independents' Day

Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis has pledged his support for the Independents’ Day campaign taking place on 4 July which will celebrate and promote independent retailers across the UK.

The day aims to raise awareness of the contribution independent retailers make to the local economy and encourage the public to buy at least one item from the retailers on the day. Towns and retailers are being encouraged to put on special events and promotions for the day, including themed window displays, high street festivities and offers.

The National Skills Academy for Retail’s network of over 50 skills shops will be supporting the activities and promoting the work they do in helping independent retailers to build their businesses. Through the campaign, funding is available to independent retailers with fewer than 250 employees to access training and mentoring they might not otherwise be able to take advantage of.

Paphitis, who is chairman of Rymans, the Robert Dyas hardware stores and founder of the Boux Avenue lingerie chain,  said: “I am supporting this year’s Independents’ Day campaign as I believe that independent businesses have a vital role to play in our economy. This campaign celebrates the drive, commitment, enthusiasm and passion that most small retailers possess, and need, to make it in retail, as well as the contribution they make to local communities. 

“Through the campaign, support is available to these small businesses to help them be the best they can be. I would urge independent retailers to take advantage of the support that is on offer to them through the National Skills Academy for Retail.”

Now in its third year, the day’s organisers say that more towns and locations across the UK have confirmed their participation in the campaign this year than ever before.

This year, the National Skills Academy for Retail has joined forces with the Independent Retailer Month campaign and 13 trade associations are supporting the Independents’ Day campaign, including the British Independent Retailers Association, the National Association of Goldsmiths, the Entertainment Retailers Association and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association.

Jane Rexworthy, head of the National Skills Academy for Retail said: “People are passionate about their local shops and appreciate the contribution they make to a town’s personality. But we all need to make sure we use them and show support for these businesses. Independents’ Day is an exciting way to showcase the variety of independent retailers and traders in the UK, and get the British public spending in them.

“The campaign is also a chance for us to celebrate the talented and hardworking individuals who run these independent shops. In these tough economic conditions, retailers must be skilled business people to stay competitive. The National Skills Academy for Retail offers a range of support and advice to help independents do this, as well as supporting retail Apprenticeships to ensure the next generations of shop owners are in the making.”

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