Middlesbrough’s shoppers are being urged to support the independent local traders who went the extra mile for them during the pandemic.
Over lockdown family butchers C.A.M Family Meats Ltd drove its food to vulnerable residents, Alta Ego launched a personal shopping and delivery service to provide much-needed gifts for treats, and The Crafty Sisters and Crafty Patch provided a focus for people who turned to hobbies to fill their time.
“Now it’s time to say thank you,” said David Harris, who manages the Dundas Market Centre where the traders are based alongside dozens of other independent businesses.
An opportunity to appreciate their efforts and support their hard work in bouncing back from lockdown comes later this week (2-5 July) when Dundas Market takes part in a nationwide Independents campaign.
“Although the big High Street names tend to grab all the attention, there are more independent traders in the UK and they offer unique products and a personal service you are unlikely to receive in a chain store,” said Mr Harris.
There are around 290,000 retail outlets in the UK and well over a half are independent. The problems facing some of the best-known retailers have been well-documented, with Middlesbrough town centre particularly affected with the closures of Debenhams, Topshop, Monsoon and others.
“Now is the time for the independents to fill the gap,” said Mr Harris. “Over the past year or so people have discovered how important their community can be to them. The traders at Dundas come from the community and know what interests and appeals to their family, friends and neighbours.”
He added: “They live and breathe their businesses. They’ve turned their hobbies into their careers and in some cases given up steady jobs to pursue their passions. After having to close for months during lockdown they are more determined than ever, and I would appeal to Middlesbrough’s shoppers to support them.”
Mr Harris said he would also like to hear from local people who are thinking about starting a new business or relocating their existing one. He would welcome interest from a baker, florist, barber or greengrocer.”
For more information about the market visit its website www.dundasshoppingcentre.co.uk/dundas-market