Retail BID backs Birmingham’s independent businesses with summer promotional campaign

Retail BID Birmingham has launched a month-long campaign to support the city centre’s
independent businesses and raise awareness of the thriving sector.


The campaign is called Love Your Independents and includes ‘takeovers’ of the
shoppinginbirmingham.com website, colourful window stickers for all independent
businesses and social media advertisements promoting the independent sector. Promotional messages will also feature on local online media and broadcast channels.

Love Your Independents is being supported by management teams at Great Western and
Piccadilly Arcades; both key locations for dozens of small businesses offering unique reasons
to visit Birmingham city centre.

Retail BID Birmingham is the Business Improvement District for the city centre retail and
leisure area. Across the Retail BID area there are almost 100 independent businesses
covering retail, food and drink and hair and beauty salons.

A recent report by Birmingham-based bira, the trade association for independent retailers in
the UK, revealed independents accounted for 64% of all retail and leisure units in the UK,
with 2018 seeing growth in independent stores across shopping centres as landlords look
for diversity and unique occupiers.

One of the city centre’s best-known independent businesses is Great Western Arcade-based
Loki Wine, founded by Phil Innes. Loki won the Retailer of the Year category at this year’s Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce dinner and awards and has been recognised nationally for its innovative approach to retail and events.
“Since I opened Loki in 2012 the independent scene in Birmingham has gone from strength
to strength, and now we have a real range of quality independent retailers in Birmingham
the sector is only going to get better over the next few years,” explains Mr Innes, a Retail
BID Board member.

“There is a realisation with the local population that independents offer far more to the
local economy than chain businesses, but also offer a unique experience, high level
customer service and great quality products.

“It is fantastic how the sector has now grown to 100 independent businesses in the Retail
BID area, and is a testament to the work that is being done around Birmingham to make it
more appealing to local businesses, and the improvement to the shopping areas to make
the city centre more connected and attractive to shoppers.”

Recent Retail BID improvement works include street deep-cleaning to remove gum and
grime and decorative planting boxes for the public protection barriers across the city centre.
Mr Innes says there is a great support network for independents in the city, and a family
feel to the sector.

“This, combined with the great work that Retail BID do to focus on the sector through
promotions such as Love Your Independents, alongside other organisations such as the
Chambers of Commerce who have done a lot of work for the sector through campaigning
and their business awards, shows the independent sector definitely has a bright future
regardless of the proliferation of online retail,” he adds.

Find out more about the campaign at www.shoppinginbirmingham.com