Bury St Edmunds council and business leaders take 'pride' in Independents Week
Town leaders have stated their ‘pride’ in Bury St Edmunds’s businesses during Independents Week.
The venture, which runs until Sunday, July 7, seeks to raise awareness of the good work being done around the town.
Councillors and retailers joined town crier Tony Appleton on Wednesday to celebrate the eighth Independents Week.
This year shopping bags are being given out, retailers are holding special offers and all businesses are benefiting from widespread publicity.
One of the key organisers is Mike Kirkham, business support and marketing manager for Bury St Edmunds business improvement district, who said: “We have had great responses. This is all about celebrating what independent businesses bring to the town.
“Not only do they provide great products and services, many of them are really involved with what is going on in the community. They look out for each other and buy one another’s products. The shops are fully behind it and are giving lots of offers and promotions.”
Independents Week, which started life as ‘Independents Day’ in 2011, is one of the business improvement district’s biggest annual events to promote the town.
Rosie Hunter, owner of Vinyl Hunter and Curtain Hunters, said: “I think it’s really important and brings home the message about what we’re doing.”
Peter Thompson, Mayor of Bury St Edmunds, said: “The independents are so strong and they are something we can be really proud of. Very originally, I became a councillor to help provide entrepreneurs with greater support so they could fulfil their brilliant ideas.
“Coming to Bury, what I noticed was the resilience of independents and the number that sprung up after the credit crunch. All of these businesses are what we want to promote.
“I am proud of the independent businesses we have. Businesses are strong enough to not need events like this, but I think it is important to show support.”
Barry Peters, editor of the Bury Free Press, said: “Independents Week is one of the highlights of the year for Bury St Edmunds.
“The event honours not just the independent retailers, which make Bury the shopping capital of west Suffolk, but also the businesses that drive the local economy.
“Through our newspaper campaign Love Local we are looking to celebrate this aspect of the town. Events like Independents Week share an important message of valuing what we have and protecting it for future generations.
“It is a privilege to be celebrating the success of independents this week with the business improvement district and of course the town crier Tony Appleton.”