SHOPPERS are being urged to show some love for borough retailers this week.
Yesterday (Wednesday) was designated as national ‘Independents’ Day’, aiming to champion diversity on the high street ad support small shops and businesses.
The day, organised by Skillsmart Retail and the National Skills Academy for Retail, encourages shoppers to discover all that is valuable and different about local sole traders.
Three out of four businesses based in North Tyneside’s town centres are independent traders, relying on regular local trade to stay successful.
Mayor Linda Arkley said: “It is vital that we continue to support our small, independent businesses if we want our town centres to survive and thrive.
“We need to remember that if we don’t use our local shops and services, we could lose them, which is why North Tyneside Council is backing Independents’ Day.”
Michelle Hay, owner-partner at North Shields’ health food and herbal supplement store Mother Nature, has seen her business grow from strength to strength since opening in 1986, outgrowing two premises.
She said: “Over the years, we have built up relationships with hundreds of customers who come back to us time and time again.
“They tell us that they value our friendly approach and we’re able to give them advice and suggest products based on what we know about them and their circumstances.
“Our customers are like an extended family – we have one lady who travels all the way from County Durham each week to see us.
“And when I had a baby recently, I received 120 cards from customers. I was overwhelmed.”
For more on North Tyneside’s town centres visit www.northtyneside.gov.uk/towncentres
For more information on national Independents Day, visit www.skillsmartretail.com