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Independent Retailer Month is a global ‘Shop Local’ campaign that runs throughout the month of July to celebrate local, independent retailers in the communities they serve. To support this, Winchester Business Improvement District (BID) recognises the city’s unique selection of independent businesses by promoting #IndieWinch businesses across Winchester.

On Friday 1 July, Winchester BID will install No 1 Independent Street, a pop-up shop to distribute the latest FREE #IndieWinch pocket map and raise awareness about ‘shopping local’. Visitors, residents and businesses are invited to come along and pick up a FREE pocket map showing over 190 independent shops, services, and restaurants/cafes across the city centre. The pocket map conveniently lists all these #IndieWinch businesses and can be used to help navigate around the city.

Look out for the #IndieWinch window stickers too which helps to identify independent businesses from their window frontage and encourage visitors and residents to shop local.

To celebrate the month, Winchester BID has created a series of short films, a montage of images and radio interviews to showcase what it means to be an independent business in Winchester and why so many businesses choose to call Winchester home.

Sarah Davis, Winchester Business Improvement District Manager said:

“Winchester’s independent businesses have bounced back post-COVID with some reporting better-than-ever sales growth. We have seen some exciting new shops, cafes and restaurants opening with owners choosing the vibrant streets of the city, as well as some well-established businesses expanding into larger sites and investing in their businesses. Winchester is a nurturing environment for many indie businesses who benefit from the support of each other and make the city’s shopping, eating and drinking experiences so special for locals and visitors alike.”

Martin Smart, Cornflowers Gift Shop Owner said:

“Cornflowers Gift Shop is based in Kingsgate Village in the heart of the historic City of Winchester where we are surrounded by heritage, with one of the oldest colleges, bookshops, city pubs and historic retailers in the country. One of the most valuable benefits of being an independent in Winchester is that we have such a diverse range of businesses providing support for each other and creating a thriving business community.

Winchester independents provide unrivalled customer service often knowing our customers individually and being able to offer the personal touch and as such creating a unique customer destination set amongst the regular multinationals found in the city. As an independent it gives huge satisfaction to know that the major portion of every penny spent in a Winchester independent is returned to the city and as such making the Winchester Indies the true heart of the city.”

If you run an independent business in Winchester, and have any special promotions or events planned, then keep Winchester BID informed by using the #IndieWinch hashtag on social media posts to tell us a bit more about yourself. Keep up to date with the Independent Business Month activity by following Winchester BID’s social media channels @WinchesterBID on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and by following the #IndieWinch hashtag for further updates.

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