Local independent retailers are receiving the support of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council as they take part in this year’s Independents Day initiative next Saturday, July 4.
The Head of Economic Development in Craigavon, Nicola Wilson, presented a report to council and explained how it was hoped to assist the businesses with a concerted campaign.
Councillors were told that independent retailers and consumer facing businesses are the life-blood of our local retail centres – they add social and commercial value to the places we work, live and enjoy.
And statistics show that, for every £1 spent with a local, independent business, between 50p and 70p circulates back into that local economy.
Independent retailers make up 92 per cent of all retail businesses in the UK and their contribution to a location’s identity and community is unrivalled.
The Independents Day campaign aims to highlight their importance to local economies and to create healthier high streets.
There has been extensive legacy council-led regeneration in Armagh City, Banbridge Lurgan and Portadown town centres in recent, years including public realm, revitalisation schemes, city/town centre WiFi, promotions, events and many other economic development programmes.
The local Independents Day campaign, which has been discussed with and has the support of the Chambers of Commerce and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA), will include the appointment of a specialist PR company to highlight some of the best independent retail offering across Armagh, Banbridge, Lurgan and Portadown.
It will also include the production of an A5 brochure with offers from across the four centres, promotional teams in all the urban centres on 4th July, the generation of high quality press, radio coverage and web coverage, together with supporting marketing activity to include radio advertising, outdoor/bus advertising and digital media marketing.
The objective of this campaign is to inform local consumers and help ensure a proportion of their spending is with independent businesses on July 4th and beyond.
Councillors have been told that, by doing so, consumers get more unique products, better service and an all-round more positive experience.
In the longer term, it is hoped the repetition of the ‘shop local’ message will help the urban centres enjoy higher footfall, longer consumer dwell time and lower vacancy rates.
The spending of £20,000 for the initiative is being made available from the 2015/2016 Town Centre Management budgets.
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