Independents Day to be celebrated in Horsham

JPCT 150513 La Vida, Piries Place. Donna Camera, right and Kim Downes. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 150513 La Vida, Piries Place. Donna Camera, right and Kim Downes. Photo by Derek Martin

Starting on July 4 and continuing throughout the month, Horsham Independents are joining forces to highlight the importance of Independent Traders in the Town.

The initiative in Horsham has come about from a national campaign which encourages retailers and groups of retailers to create promotions, activities and events that will really engage and excite their local consumers, reminding them of the hidden gems that are right on their doorsteps and making steps to secure their longer-term loyalty.

I opened my businesses ‘La Vida Boutique’ in 1999. During the last 14 years I have seen many independent business come and go.

The retail landscape is changing, something highlighted by the ‘Mary Portas’ save our high street campaign.

I, like Mary believe passionately that independent businesses are vital to the survival of our towns, high streets & villages.

I am extremely passionate about promoting and supporting my fellow traders.

As a member of the Horsham Unlimited team I plan to work alongside my fellow traders and together we hope to create a showcase for Horsham’s wonderfully unique independent businesses and shops.

We want to give residents a reason to shop in Horsham and remind them of all the great things that they may have forgotten.

Horsham Independents Month will not be just about individual shops or businesses though.

It’s about working together to lift the whole town.

It will be about popping into that little shop you always walk by, visiting our vibrant market and buying local produce.

It will be about coming together as a community.

We all enjoy having a town filled with lovely independent retailers and eateries but sometimes, out of habit, we forget to use them as our first port of call, and often end up shopping online or ‘popping’ into large chains in nearby larger towns.

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies have proven the value our independent traders add to our communities and our local economies.

For every £1 that is spent with a local, independent business, between 50p-70p circulates back into that local economy.

Buying locally supports local traders, their suppliers and the people they depend on to run their businesses.

Buying locally boosts the local economy, rebuilding confidence in the community, enabling local businesses to prosper and grow.

Shopping online or out-of-town may save a little time or a little money, but for every £1 spent only 5p trickles back into the local economy.

By buying from local independent shops we each are doing ‘our bit’ to keep our high street, town or village centre ‘open for business’.

Sadly at present it really is a case of ‘use it or lose it’.

But our campaign isn’t about a ‘bleeding heart’ story - we really want consumers to realise that doing a proportion of their shopping with indies means they get more unique products, better service and an all-round more positive experience.