Over the last few weeks, Charlotte has been working with some local businesses on an idea to bring back local shopping habits and a sense of pride for Market Drayton. This week 40 independent businesses in Market Drayton are taking part in ‘Keep It Local’. During the week local residents will be encouraged to visit a new independent store, introduce themselves to the shopkeeper and purchase an item. In return the businesses will put a donation in a tin for each new customer they receive. This is not about boycotting the superstores, but about re-addressing the balance in our shopping habits to retain the integrity, variety and beauty of our town centres.
At the end of the week, the donations will be collected and the funds will be put towards the regeneration of the town. This may be through hanging baskets in the main shopping streets or the painting of the empty shop fronts. It will be up to the businesses and residents to decide together.
The purpose of the initiative is two-fold:
1. Introducing customers to retailers begins to build the connections between the community and their local businesses, hopefully, building loyalty and community spirit with it.
2. The donations given by the businesses will clearly demonstrate to the community that the money they spend in these independent retailers stays in the local economy and helps its regeneration. Whereas money spent in the chain retailers disappears out of town. The practical measures such as hanging baskets will show the community what a difference a week of local shopping can do – imagine what a difference a year of this can make!?!
Building on the success of the Fordhall Farm Community Land Initiative, Charlotte hopes that collaborative working in Market Drayton will achieve great results. Demonstrating that small scale changes, when done collaboratively can have a positive, active and long lasting impact in your local area.
Ben is also taking part in the Farmers’ Market due to be held in the town centre on Sunday 5th April from 10am-2pm – why not go and say hello – its that easy! 🙂