On the first day of its fourth annual campaign, Independent Retailer Month is calling all consumers to support small, independent businesses by making more informed decisions on where they spend their money.

Independent Retailer Month is an annual campaign which runs throughout July. It aims to raise awareness of thousands of local businesses and increase footfall into town and village centres, helping retailers to stay open for business and to improve collaboration between retailers.

The campaign aims to impact the independent retail sector with fun activities and events to connect consumers and communities with local businesses, helping to engage their interest in and understanding of the benefits of shopping with local independent brands.

Many consumers are unaware of the value they can add to their local economies by shopping with independent retailers. Research carried out by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that for every £1.00 spent locally, 50-70p recirculates back into the local economy. In contrast, only 5p of every £1.00 spent out of town finds its way back to the local community.

“Most people don’t realise how valuable their custom is to their local, independent businesses.” says Clare Rayner, the Retail Champion and founder of Independent Retailer Month. “We need these customers to understand how their hard-earned cash can boost their local economy, depending on where they choose to spend it.”

She continues, “Every pound spent with independent retailers in your local town or village is worth ten times more to your community than if you spent it elsewhere. That’s what Independent Retailer Month is all about: we want consumers to re-engage with their local businesses and discover the benefits of shopping closer to home.

“As well as high quality products and fantastic one-to-one customer service that you’re unlikely to find in bigger retailers, your purchases in independent retailers will mean so much more to your local community – that money will recirculate back to your local economy and help your town prosper!”

Often, we’re guilty of overlooking the fantastic shops right on our doorstep. While busy lives and established habits might make it seem easier to dash round a supermarket or log in on websites like Amazon, we should allow ourselves a much more enjoyable shopping experience in the smaller shops on our own high streets. Not to mention that local businesses rarely get pulled up for multi-million pound tax avoidance schemes!

Whether they are high street boutiques, pop-up shops, market stalls or online traders, we should make more of an effort to support the independent retailers around us. Small businesses are what make our towns, villages and communities stand out. We need to embrace that uniqueness and celebrate local successes.

With plenty of events and activities planned for individual shoppers and families alike, Independent Retailer Month is the perfect opportunity to show your support for your local community. Find out what’s happening in your area and tell family and friends to join in. The more people that get involved and support local businesses, the more these businesses – and the local economy – will flourish.

Shoppers are invited to visit the Independent Retailer Month events page to discover the activities happening near them throughout July. You can also find your nearest independent retailers by searching the Independent Shops directory.

Join the conversation online and show support for independent retailers across social networking sites with the hashtag #indieretail. Followers can like the Independent Retailer Month UK Facebook page, follow @IndieRetailUK or subscribe for updates on the website,

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