Thebestof Shrewsbury is championing a new national campaign which is actively encouraging consumers to support their independent local shops, businesses and services during a week of activities.
Buy Local Week is running from June 3 - 9 across the country and is a week-long celebration of all the entrepreneurs, family-run businesses, sole traders and independent services in a local area.
Thebestof Shrewsbury, which has promoted hundreds of such businesses over the last seven years, is firmly behind the campaign,has engaged a number of other businesses to backit and is raising funds for a local charity.
Two hundred bags for life have been created by thebestof and a number of businesses – Enjoy!, Serenity, The Shrewsbury Club, The Rural Enterprise Centre and Salop Leisure -are selling the bags for just £1 with 100per cent of the proceeds going to Shrewsbury Ark, an independent local charity which acts as a drop-in-centre for homeless and vulnerable people in the town, based opposite Shrewsbury railway station.
During the week, every day for seven days, thebestof will be giving away £100 to spend with one of the businesses promoted through it to five people who pledge their support to the campaign by leaving recommendations of their favourite businesses at thebestof.co.uk.
There will be a "Buy Local" hour every day on twitter– to build momentum and to get people more involved. Many shops around the town are now displaying "I Love to Buy Local" stickers to championnot just the campaign but the whole idea and any shop or service can ask to have one.
Andy Rao, Director of thebestof Shrewsbury, said: “This campaign is a celebration and an extension of what we do all year round. It is imperative that people support their independents. In Shrewsbury, we are blessed to have a lot of these businesses and it’s amazing to see parts of town filling up with them, and so many vans driving about belonging to sole traders.
"But if we don’t use them, we will lose them. It’s a tough climate out there, prices are rising for everyone but if we all support each other more and focus on human interaction rather than buying from large chains, our communities will be a better place.
“We are also especially grateful to independent gift shop Enjoy!, wellbeing centres Serenity and The Shrewsbury Club, office space provider The Rural Enterprise Centre in Battlefield and the region’s largest caravan dealership Salop Leisure, all independent businesses in our town who are selling the bags for life in order to raise funds for Shrewsbury Ark.
The charity and its supporters created a wonderful community event with The Big Busk this April and we hope they will create more fantastic initiatives in the future.”
Tim Compton, director of Shrewsbury Ark, said: “We are really grateful to thebestof Shrewsbury for supporting our charity.
"We are a small, local charity and we rely heavily on donations and support from businesses and the public in order for us to provide a vital service to some of the less fortunate people in the town.
"Anything that supports the local community I am a fan of and think we should all do what we can.”
Andy added:"The campaign is just a springboard to an ethos that we really want to encourage the people of Shrewsbury to have for the long-term.
"There are some fantastic independent businesses around. If you don't know where to find these recommended and trusted local companies, across a host of sectors, then just check out our website."
By Catherine Roche
Member since: 10th July 2012
That's our team, L-R Emma, Louise and Andy. We run thebestof and our sister marketing company, Key 3 Media. With over 40 years' combined marketing experience, we help promote local businesses through our...