Berkshire Joins the Campaign to Save Small Businesses

10 Sep 2013

Berkshire’s Campaign to Save Small Businesses Holds Promise for the Borough

Keep Trade Local, a nationwide campaign championing small businesses, was launched in March 2013 to encourage the growth of independent retailers in the local community. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) set out to engage with local boroughs, encouraging residents to help preserve their local businesses. The Thames Valley region recently joined the drive, working with the local area on a weeklong campaign.

Appearing at the same time as the G8 summit, the campaign has received great backing believing it to be an opportunity to remind us all of the importance and value of local trade. John Friel, Regional Chairman of the FSB said: “...it is worth remembering that the backbone of the economy is local businesses.”

The residents of Thames Valley boroughs, including Bracknell and Reading in Berkshire, are encouraged to visit the small service shops of their local area instead of larger superstores. Reports have detailed a dramatic decline in local retailers, with approximately 20 shops closing a day. In 2009, a whopping 25,000 shops closed and with many of these businesses struggling to keep afloat, the decline of the local retailer could see another 50,000 become extinct. The Keep Trade Local campaign intends to put a stop to further closures. The FSB believe that working with local communities, nationwide, can help revive the confidence that residents have in the small businesses.

Berkshire residents turned their spending to the local businesses of the community in aid of the Keep Trade Local campaign. The shoppers entered a competition by registering their spend with the FSB, in the hope of winning £300 cash. Any spend was accepted, as long as it was with an independent local business.

David Knowles Leak, chairman FSB Thames Valley region, said: "I think that people across the Thames Valley region realise the importance, and benefits, of using local businesses where they can. We are delighted that so many people chose to get behind the campaign and offer their support during our challenge week and hope that people will now continue to Keep Trade Local as, and when, possible".

Whilst this is a great opportunity to encourage the success and growth of local communities nationwide, it is important to remember the switch in peoples shopping patterns. People are working longer hours and, as such, the need for convenience and one-stop-shopping means these local businesses are at risk. The FSB hopes that by challenging people to think about their community and the businesses that are local to them, a difference can be made.

Along with the campaign to save local businesses, a new Thames Valley Berkshire Loan Scheme has been launched by the FSE Group. The scheme enables local businesses to receive the financial support necessary for company growth. With this in mind, many SME’s with the potential to escalate could be considering more appropriate premises.

Goodman, which owns, develops and manages Arlington Square Business Park, Bracknell, is committed to offering opportunities to businesses in the borough. Their extensive local knowledge enables them to build relationships with the SME’s in the area to help and encourage their growth. Businesses can utilise the experience and expertise of Goodman to create a space that is befitting to the company’s growth and success.

For more information, please visit: fsb.org.uk/ktl and http://www.thefsegroup.com/thames-valley-berkshire-funding-escalator.