Finchley is celebrating its first Independents Day on Saturday 9th July. Community group Finchlinks is calling on residents to make a point of shopping in their local high street and independent shops for the day in place of using supermarkets, buying online or visiting other areas.
Shops are doing their part by offering special incentives to encourage people to visit them on the day – an extra excuse for people to try a new shop or discover something different about an old favourite. To find out what shops are offering people can look up www.finchlinks.com/independents
Independents Day has been set up by local community group Finchlinks. The group hopes that the day will remind residents in Finchley of how vital it is for us to support our local shops. This is the first time the group have run the day and they hope it will be the first of many.
Across the UK high streets independent shops are under increasing pressure of low spending, competition from the internet and out of town shopping centres, as well as rising rates and parking fees. Town centre vacancy rates have doubled in the last two years and Finchley’s high streets bear witness to these statistics.
Finchley’s Independents Day is part of a nation wide movement to stop this decline. In May Mary Portas, or Mary Queen of Shops, agreed to take on the challenge of saving our high streets after being invited to chair a review by David Cameron and Nick Clegg. Independents Day has also been taken on by other high streets across the UK. As petrol prices rise people are starting to wise up to the benefits of shopping on our doorsteps. Hard times are also proving fertile grounds for new businesses and this can be seen with the emergence of new shops like Mr Simms Old Fashioned Sweets Shop and Tailors Corner.
Paul Evans, one of the founders of Finchlinks said, ‘Independent shops are the heart of our community. We all love the idea of having good friendly shops on our doorstep but it’s up to us all to support them to keep them there and to encourage new ones in. It’s easy when money is tight to put savings above everything else and just shop in the supermarkets and on line but these could be short sighted savings if we end up with boarded up, depressing high streets.
[Ed: Small businesses can get a free listing from FinchleyCommunity.co.uk a sister website of the Finchley arrow.]