A former academic and high street champion is set to launch a new campaign to support independent businesses.
Jackie Mulligan, who launched web platform ShopAppy in 2016 to support local high streets, has created a suite of downloadable resources for independent businesses to use.
The materials focus on how to communicate the benefits of shopping local such as the impact on places, people and the planet.
As part of the campaign, ShopAppy will also be hosting a ‘Love Local Day’ event on February 14.
Ms Mulligan said: “ShopAppy will have launched in 30 locations by February 2020, helping towns and cities to love their high streets.
“In this new decade, I see hope in policy reforms that will help physical stores and services, as well as greater funding for our town centres, and many new business concepts coming to the fore.
“In an age where reducing environmental impact is the top of consumers’ priorities, many don’t realise that supporting local businesses is a much greener way to shop by reducing over-packaging and the congestion that comes with home deliveries.”
ShopAppy brings local shops together on one platform. It enables people who are unable to get down t0 the high street and do their shopping to ‘click and collect’ products.
Last year, ShopAppy appointed four new employees, including Julie Holden as director of membership.
Ms Holden was previously the head of national membership for the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) and has 20 years of retail experience.
She said: “Nobody wants to lose the vibrant hearts of the UK’s commerce and communities, so it is vital that consumers show their love for local retailers and businesses again.
“ShopAppy will be working in partnership with our growing community of ambassadors and local businesses to ensure that supporting local is not just for Christmas.
“Our Love Local celebration day in February will help to raise awareness, but the overall message is about loving your local businesses all year round.”
Despite the challenges faced by independent high street businesses, they still “remain relatively resilient”, according to Ms Mulligan, “largely because they can respond in a more agile fashion and there is arise in attention on markets and pop-ups in empty spaces”.