Shop local campaign Totally Locally is returning to Thanet next month with preparations launching now.
Thanet District Council, as part of the Welcome Back Funding for high streets, has partnered with Totally Locally to encourage business owners to work together in celebration of the isle’s independent high streets and to help them recover post COVID-19.
Totally Locally is a global initiative that supports traders by promoting the value of local shopping and its benefits for the local economy. There will be a free marketing toolkit and mentoring available to local businesses to help them increase footfall and attract new customers.
Many of Thanet’s shops and businesses will have special offers – highlighting the Totally Locally message that if everyone spent just £5 a week in local independent shops, it has the power to boost annual spend across our towns as follows:
Off the back of the successful 2021 Fiver Fest, Thanet’s businesses will be encouraged to get involved with the event next month. From Saturday, March 12 to Saturday, March 26 they will encourage people to divert £5 of their weekly spend to support the small businesses in their communities.
Cllr Reece Pugh, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Thanet District Council said: “Totally Locally is all about the power of the collective. If businesses work together to boost their online presence, with the support of our dedicated business consultant, they will have a much stronger chance of success and will help their town thrive.
“I was blown away by the fantastic offers that local businesses came up with during last year’s Fiver Fest. From special offers in our greengrocers and butchers to our unique boutique shops, there was a real buzz in our towns and I think this year’s event will be an even bigger celebration of Thanet’s independent shops.
“I encourage all businesses to get involved and take up the Totally Locally campaign and equally hope that residents use this as an opportunity to support their local shops and make a real difference to their town.”
Shop owner Theresa Ireton from Monty’s in Birchington said: “Fiver Fest is an excellent way of creating a buzz around shopping locally. It’s not a formula to make a fortune, in fact it might involve you selling items for no profit at all…but it encourages people to take another look at shopping with independent businesses and appreciate what they have to offer.
“In Birchington, our first Fiver Fest was a catalyst for better cooperation between shopkeepers; working together to support each other; both face to face and on social media.
“Not only do we have the support of Thanet District Council in this scheme, but by taking part, we are able to capitalise on local & national news coverage & advertising arranged by Totally Locally, as well as participating shopping areas around the country.
“We know that everyone needs to go to the supermarket for some items, and your local shops are not expecting that to change; but by spending a fiver in your high street each week you are keeping your money local, making where you live better for everyone. If you love where you live, you need to go Totally Locally!”
Clare Barnes, from Bethany’s sandwich bar and cafe in Lymington Road, Westgate-on-Sea said: “We enjoyed taking part in the last Fiver Fest. We had new people coming in and many customers, new and existing, shared our offer on social media, which in turn bought more exposure for our cafe. We are not in the main town itself but being part of the festival seemed to bring the town together as a whole. We had visits from other business owners and we also visited other businesses to enjoy their Fiver Fest deals.”
Chris Sands, Totally Locally founder, added: “Totally Locally isn’t anti-supermarket or anti-online. There is a place for all these things in our lives. It’s just highlighting how a small change in spending habits can make a huge change to your local town. We have a choice to make the place we live that little bit better by just diverting £5 of our weekly spend back into our local economy. And everyone wants their town to be great, don’t they?!”
The Totally Locally campaign is one of the initiatives being delivered by the council as part of the Welcome Back Fund. Other activities being funded to help support the recovery of Thanet towns include additional cleaning of high footfall areas, a spring planting scheme, public messaging campaigns through signage, and dedicated business support through a Facebook group and consultant who can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org