Prime Minister supports Independents’ Day
PM David Cameron, Skills Minister Matthew Hancock, Chuka Umunna MP and David Lammy MP show support for Independents’ Day campaign.
By Laura Turner
Image: Chuka Umunna MP
5 July 2013
Yesterday, while thousands of retailers across the UK were celebrating Independents’ Day, encouraging the public to buy at least one item from their independent shops, Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted his support for the initiative.
“July 4 is also Independents’ Day – celebrating small retailers,” tweeted Cameron. “A big thank you for all they do. I'm backing Small Business Saturday on Dec 7.”
Independent retailers across the UK came together to support the campaign and take part in the wide range of activities that have been organised throughout villages, towns and cities in all the England regions as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Towns and retailers hosted special events and promotions for the day, including themed window displays, high-street festivities and special offers.
Skills minister Matthew Hancock also addressed small businesses in Waterloo Business Improvement District (BID), while Chuka Umunna and David Lammy visited independents in Streatham and Tottenham respectively, demonstrating their support.
Speaking at the Waterloo BID Independents’ Day event yesterday, Hancock said, “I think Independents’ Day is a great chance to celebrate independents. Run by the National Skills Academy for Retail, it happens across the country and is a day for everybody to go and buy something from an independent.”
The National Skills Academy for Retail’s network of over 50 skills shops has been supporting activities to promote the work it does to help independent retailers become more profitable and successful. Through the campaign, funding is available to independent retailers with fewer than 250 employees, to access training and mentoring they might not otherwise be able to take advantage of.
“We have been amazed at how many small businesses and locations across the UK have taken part in this year’s campaign, which has gone from strength to strength over the last three years,” says Jane Rexworthy, head of the National Skills Academy for Retail. “This year we are able to support small retailers in accessing government funding for training and mentoring they might not otherwise be able to afford though the National Skills Academy for Retail.”
The campaign, now in its third year, champions diversity on the high street and recognises the skills behind the shop front. This year, the National Skills Academy for Retail joined forces with the Independent Retailer Month initiative, and 13 trade associations are supporting the Independents’ Day campaign, including British Independent Retailers Association (bira), National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG), Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) and Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA). Mondelez International has also sponsored the campaign competition for independent retailers to win free business training and mentoring.
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