Totally Locally is a grassroots initiative that encourages small businesses to work together as a community to protect the future of the high streets they operate in.
It offers free Town Kits as well as hosting Fiver Fest - a celebration of Britain’s small businesses and shops.
For the first time, Totally Locally is creating a virtual shopping experience by helping whole towns such as Hebden Bridge to get their local businesses online and by allowing shoppers to browse and buy online from lots of different independent businesses all in one place.
Hebden Bridge will be the first town to launch on the platform and there are ambitions to roll it out on a national scale.
Hebden Bridge resident and the founder of Totally Locally, Chris Sands, is encouraging shoppers to use the new online platform to support independent businesses.
Totally Locally is supported by Visa as part of its ‘Where You Shop Matters’ campaign.
Building on its status as a town completely devoid of chain stores, 40 independent businesses in Hebden Bridge have already signed up to the platform including Blazing Saddles, an award-winning cycle shop.
The shop’s owner, John Ainscough, said he is a strong believer that shopping locally will be crucial for the survival of the high street and that community spirit will help them recover from the pandemic.
Heart Gallery’s owner Alison Bartram said her gallery has gone from strength since she joined Totally Locally.
The launch of the platform will be followed by the Totally Locally Fiver Fest, which runs from October 10 to October 24.
Totally Locally and Visa are working together to encourage small business owners to sign up and are asking consumers to spend £5 extra a week where they can to support the small businesses in their communities.
The last Fiver Fest saw 103 towns take part from the North of Scotland down to the South Coast of England. Growing numbers of small businesses have started websites since lockdown came into force at the end of March.