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West Northants businesses celebrated on Independents Days

Business support

01 July 2022

Towcester high street busy with shoppers on a sunny day.

Nearly 21,000 businesses in West Northamptonshire employing under 50 people will be the focus this weekend as shoppers are encouraged to celebrate their Independents Day.

Independents Day is part of the ongoing campaign by Local Rewards, a partnership between businesses and local authorities to support and promote independent retail businesses.

Cllr Daniel Lister, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) Cabinet Member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth, hopes that shoppers spend more time in their local high streets.

He said: “West Northants is a place where businesses thrive, with our area ranking in the top ten in the country to start-up. As a community, we need to work together to support the local independents, as the benefits help everyone within the community.

"Our new app, ‘Explore West Northants’ will launch later this year, showcasing our fantastic local businesses, attractions and reasons to visit the high streets and surrounding areas. We won’t stop raising awareness of all of our great businesses and the many reasons everyone should explore each and every one of them.

"As we strive to recover from the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to support our independent businesses, who provide jobs to local people and unmatched services to residents."

Independents account for around 65 per cent of the 290,000 retail outlets in the UK and are firmly at the heart of local communities throughout the country.

West Northamptonshire contributed £12.5bn to the UK economy in 2019, rising by 126 per cent since 1998 compared to a 123 per cent increase nationally during the same period. In 2019, the largest sector by output was the wholesale and retail trade.

In December 2021 Northampton was ranked number one in a table of the best towns in the UK to start a business.

The Independents Day campaign ties in locally with WNC’s ongoing Think Local initiative in Brackley, Daventry, Northampton and Towcester, and builds towards the celebration of Small Business Saturday in December.

As well as advice for shoppers on how to support local retailers in West Northamptonshire, the WNC website can also signpost retailers themselves to a range of free Business Support services including advice on funding.