Chester’s independent businesses back annual campaign

CH1ChesterBID and a raft of Chester’s independent businesses have thrown their support behind the national campaign, Small Business Saturday

Over this festive weekend, residents and visitors of Chester are being encouraged to ‘shop local’ as part of a national campaign.

‘Small Business Saturday’ takes place annually and aims to boost trade for the UK’s independent businesses. Taking place this year on Saturday 7 December, the campaign encourages shoppers to support smaller businesses and their local economy, with a number of Chester businesses backing the initiative.

CH1ChesterBID has also thrown its support behind the campaign, as it hopes to promote the local traders that boost the high street’s unique appeal.

Paul Boyland from Chester Model Centre believes it’s now more important than ever for small businesses to become the heart of the high street.

He said: “Chester is a unique city, with a huge range of stores, bars and restaurants which attract visitors and residents alike. It’s biggest charm though – and what sets it apart from the rest of the North West – is the number of independent businesses available throughout the city centre.

“They bring a fantastic atmosphere to the city and offer one-off experiences and products. That’s why these campaigns are vital – especially at this time of year!”

Debbie Groom from Just Footprints, Chester’s first zero-waste, plastic free shop, is another business backing the campaign this year. Based in the Forum Shopping Centre, the independent business offers food items, everyday essentials and personal care products and is enjoying its first Christmas in Chester.

“This initiative is becoming a significant fixture in the business calendar, as it is such a great way to unite the independent retail community in the city – we even launched our business on this day last year,” said Debbie.

“Thanks to help from CH1ChesterBID, small retailers are getting more and more recognition in Chester, and days dedicated to us are just another great opportunity for us to raise our profile and encourage people to shop local.”

Nick Minshull from City Gate Menswear agreed, commenting: “Since the campaign started, we have seen a change in consumer spending towards independent businesses, which I think is extremely positive and highlights the one-to-one service we offer.

“We are very lucky to operate in a city that has such good support for independents, and we hope that this weekend really draws attention to the brilliant offering we have in Chester.”

The Small Business Saturday campaign has continued to get a positive reaction from the public with customer spending at small businesses – those with fewer than 50 staff – increasing year-on-year, with £812 million spent in one day in 2018.

CH1ChesterBID Manager, Carl Critchlow, said: “Over the past five years one of our big priorities has been encouraging more people to come and spend time on our high street supporting local businesses. One of the ways we have done this is by backing campaigns like Small Business Saturday, which focus on the amazing businesses we have right here in our city centre.

“Chester offers a huge range of amenities for residents and visitors – so we are urging people to get behind the campaign again this year and discover new independent stores and restaurants just before Christmas.”

For more information on the range of small and independent businesses available to visit in Chester this Christmas, visit https://experiencechester.co.uk/ or for further details on the national Small Business Saturday campaign, visit https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/

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