Shop Local: Chamber of commerce urges people to utilise high street independents this weekend

The eclectic mix of shops on Portishead High Street.

The eclectic mix of shops on Portishead High Street. - Credit: Archant

Portishead Chamber of Commerce is appealing to people of the town to make a concerted effort this weekend to spend money with small, independent traders in the run-up to Small Business Saturday UK.  

Portishead High Street in May, 2020.

Portishead High Street in May, 2020. - Credit: Archant

This comes after new tier 3 restrictions came into effect today (Wednesday) in North Somerset, and government guidelines state all retail, leisure, and personal care businesses which had to close for the second lockdown can now reopen in the area. 

Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages people to shop local and support small businesses in their communities. 

Portishead High Street.

Portishead High Street. - Credit: Archant

Portishead Chamber of Commerce committee member, Rachel Nash, said: “Portishead is known for its community spirit and if every household spent £10 with an independent local business on small business Saturday, it would make a world of difference to our traders who work hard to provide our town with choice and diversity.  

“With the year we’ve had, local residents spending their money with independents in the local community could make the difference between survival and closure.  

“We are also encouraging traders across North Somerset to run special offers or organise a fun activity to raise the profile of their business and Small Business Saturday this Saturday.”  

While the day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses. 

SoleLution in Portishead High Street. Picture: Tracey Fowler

SoleLution in Portishead High Street. Picture: Tracey Fowler - Credit: Tracey Fowler

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Retailer, Tanya Marriott, who runs Solelution shoe shop in Portishead High Street, was one of 100 businesses in the UK chosen to be part of the initiative in the 100-day run up to the day. 

In a video interview with Small Business Saturday, Tanya said: “We’ve been celebrating 15 years this year as well as being picked for one of the Small Business 100, which has been fantastic.  

Tanya Marriott of SoleLution in Portishead.

Tanya Marriott of SoleLution in Portishead. - Credit: Lily Newton-Browne

“During lockdown we’ve been doing virtual fittings, delivering shoes to customers on the doorstep and taking them alternative sizes and just making sure we can keep our customers as happy as we can.” 

Tanya is also known for supporting the local community by organising events like the town's Easter trail and also collecting new shoes for underprivileged children in Africa to personally deliver them each year.  

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