Independents Day Launched At Stormont To Help Shop Local

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On Friday 4 July, consumers across Northern Ireland will be encouraged to buy at least one item from their local, independent shop to celebrate Independents’ Day 2014.

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has launched this year’s Independents’ Day with the Minister for Finance and Personnel, Simon Hamilton MLA

[caption id="attachment_50624" align="alignleft" width="300"]Finance Minister Simon Hamilton with NIIRTA CEO Glyn Roberts launch Independents Day at Stormont. Finance Minister Simon Hamilton with NIIRTA CEO Glyn Roberts launch Independents Day at Stormont.[/caption]

Organised by the National Skills Academy for Retail and People 1st and now in its fourth year, the campaign celebrates the contribution independent businesses make to the UK. It is also helping small businesses develop their skills, with a package of support available to destinations across the UK. This includes developing online skills through the new Digital High Street Skills programme, and offering a warm welcome with WorldHost customer service training,

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: “Independents’ Day is more than just encouraging consumers to shop independently, it is about celebrating the huge contribution our local traders make to our economy, supporting local producers and vibrant town centres”

“We are urging that local shoppers make it their civic duty to support independent traders on this special day and explore the very best of our town and city centres”

“It shouldn’t just be about independent retailers today-we would also encourage consumers to support their local independent pubs, restaurants, cafes and other small businesses”

“This year we are encouraging consumers not just to make a special effort to shop and explore our local independent retail sector on 4th July but to make July a real independence month. We hope it will be forerunner for Small Business Saturday which will take place on 6th December to kick start Christmas Shopping”

“In an age of ever more clone towns and multiple stores, independents provide real choice to shoppers in our town and city centres. Independent retailers must continue to offer something different to the multiples, ensure world class customer service and embrace online as an opportunity, not as a threat. They also need to be the change makers in 21st century town centres”

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton MLA said: “Small businesses in particular have been under pressure during the economic downturn. Local traders not only play an important role in boosting growth by creating local and diverse employment opportunities, but keep our town centres and communities vibrant and welcoming.”

“It is important that both government and the local community work together to help such businesses grow and succeed. Small businesses need and deserve our support and I would encourage everyone to re-discover what their local independent stores have to offer.”

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