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Campaign highlights the importance of town centre retailers

Ind Day NI launch pic 1
Rebecca Kincade on June 25, 2015 - 3:10 pm in News

A host of independent businesses across Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon have joined forces to support a UK-wide campaign which highlights the importance of town centre retailers to their local economies.

The ‘Independents’ Day’ initiative is calling on consumers in Northern Ireland to ensure a proportion of their spending is with independent businesses on 4th July and beyond. A range of discount offers will be available throughout the day in over 50 town centre shops in Armagh, Banbridge, Lurgan and Portadown, while there will also be a host of family fun activities to enjoy as the project aims to create healthier high streets.

The Independents’ Day campaign is being led by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council across each of the four areas, with significant support from the local Chambers of Commerce and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA).

Lord Mayor, Councillor Darryn Causby, said:

“Independent retailers and consumer-facing businesses are the lifeblood of our local retail centre, adding social and commercial value to the places in which we work, live and enjoy. Indeed, statistics show that for every £1 spent with a local, independent business, between 50-70p circulates back into that local economy. It’s vital that we do all we can to drive home the ‘shop local’ message to help town and city centres enjoy higher footfall, longer consumer dwell time and lower vacancy rates.

“Our support for this year’s Independents’ Day campaign is the latest example of the close partnerships which ABC Borough Council has developed with a lot of independent business owners through the function of Town & City Centre Management. We want to highlight their importance to local economies and would encourage as many consumers as possible to visit their local town centres on Saturday, 4th July, to avail of the discount offers and enjoy the family fun activities.”

The businesses taking part in the Independents’ Day campaign are from a wide range of sectors, including hair & beauty, jewellers, fashion and the hospitality sector. One of those businesses is Donaghys in Banbridge, which is owned by Michael Donaghy.

Michael commented:

“With independent retailers making up 92% of all retail businesses in the UK, campaigns such as this are important in terms of helping to ensure that town centre businesses continue to make a vital contribution to the economic and social fabric of their local communities.

“There has been a lot of council-led regeneration in our town centres in recent years, including public realm and revitalisation schemes among other economic development programmes, and it’s important that local companies work collaboratively with local authorities at every opportunity.”

An example of some of the fantastic range of promotions available includes 2J’s female fashion retailer in Lurgan where the proprietor, Jean Kerr, is embracing Independents Day by offering customers a massive 50% off .
Glyn Roberts, CEO of NIIRTA, said: “We are delighted that ABC Council is showing leadership in giving such strong support for Independents Day 2015. In its Council area, it has some world class independent retailers which they can be very proud of.
“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.”

As well as the promotions available in many retail units on 4th July, the family fun activities on the day will include musical performances, face painting and giant board games.

The Independents Day campaign is part of a wider nationwide campaign which recognises the importance of retailers on 4th July and beyond.

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