‘Independents Week’ extended for a further seven days

The owners of Bury St Edmunds’ independent businesses are to see the campaign that champions their individual offerings extended for a second week.

For the last 10 years Our Bury St Edmunds has marked July 4 – ‘Independents’ Day’ – by promoting the town’s smaller businesses. More recently activities have taken place over a whole week. But with July 4 being a significant date this year for the hospitality sector it’s been extended to ‘Independents’ Fortnight’.

Our Bury St Edmunds which runs the Business Improvement District (BID) first organised its own Independents Day in conjunction with a national event of the same name. It soon extended from one day to a full week.

Mike Kirkham, who is the BID’s Marketing and Business Support Officer, said: “This year, although we can’t celebrate our independents in the way we have done previously, due to social distancing rules, we feel it’s even more important to acknowledge the contribution these businesses make to our town centre. By extending to a fortnight we will be able to champion all those who are re-opening for the first time since March on July 4 as they start to welcome back their customers.”

Among the independent businesses re-opening on Saturday is No 4 Restaurant at Abbeygate Cinema, with the cinema re-opening the following week.

Marketing Manager Andrea Holmes said: “We are so looking forward to re-opening on Saturday and have spent the last two days finalising our safety procedures and ensuring staff are up to date with our new way of working. It’s great to still be able to celebrate Bury’s independent businesses and see people returning to the town centre.

“Usually we would run special activities to coincide with Our Bury St Edmunds Independents Week but this year it just hasn’t been possible. However, extending it to a fortnight to continue promoting our independents, especially on social media, will be so appreciated by smaller businesses who’ve experienced such a difficult time recently.”

There are nearly 300 independent businesses in the town centre selling everything from jewellery to home furnishings and bespoke tailoring to crafted beers.

Mr Kirkham added: “Even just buying a coffee or a card from an independent business makes a difference and the money spent is likely to go further within the local economy. Supporting independents genuinely helps boost our town centre.”

Our Bury St Edmunds Independents’ Fortnight now runs until Sunday July 12.  Details of all the independent businesses can be found at www.ourburystedmunds.com

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