Shoppers in Bury St Edmunds may have to look twice if they see Abraham Lincoln in the town centre on July 4.
Although some may think the special lookalike character is there to celebrate American Independence Day he will also be championing the town’s smaller businesses for the annual Our Bury St Edmunds Independents’ Day.
This year, Monday, July 4, is the launch day for what will be the 12th year of the town centre’s Independents’ Week.
Abraham Lincoln will join the town’s Mayor and a Town Crier to let shoppers know why supporting smaller and independent businesses is vital to the local economy.
A social media competition to nominate your favourite indie and win an Our Bury St Edmunds Gift Card will also run throughout the week – with the winning businesses awarded an advertising prize too.
Independents’ Week is promoted by the Business Improvement District (BID) organisation Our Bury St Edmunds.
Mike Kirkham, who is the BID’s marketing and business support officer is co-ordinating activities.
He said: “It’s been a challenging time for independent businesses and the current cost of living increases haven’t made it any easier for them, but I am heartened by a study from Visa that found more than 80% of consumers were supporting their local businesses as much as or even more than they did before the pandemic.
“In the same survey more than half of shopkeepers said it’s the support of their local community that has kept them going and I am sure that is true for many Bury St Edmunds businesses too.”
There are close to 300 independent businesses that make Bury St Edmunds town centre the unique shopping experience it is. In fact you’ll find at least one on every street – it’s almost 60% of all the businesses in town.
Research shows that when we spend money with a local independent business far more of each pound spent stays within the local economy. Typically it’s over a third. So if you spend £10 with a town centre independent business this Independents’ Week, £3.80 of that stays within the local area.
Our Bury St Edmunds Independents’ Week runs from Monday, July 4, to Sunday, July 10.
Details of all the independent businesses, many of whom will have special deals and offers for Independents’ Week, can be found ator on the LoyalFree App.