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East Anglia Future 50

Bury St Edmunds gets behind independent traders

PUBLISHED: 16:30 03 July 2019

Independent businesses in Bury St Edmunds are being celebrated in a week-long drive of support . Trader Sophia Norris, left, with Mayor Peter Thompson, town crier Tony Appleton, and Mike Kirkham of the Our Bury St Edmunds BID Picture: MARK LANGFORD

Independent businesses in Bury St Edmunds are being celebrated in a week-long drive of support . Trader Sophia Norris, left, with Mayor Peter Thompson, town crier Tony Appleton, and Mike Kirkham of the Our Bury St Edmunds BID Picture: MARK LANGFORD

Indepndent businesses in Bury St Edmunds are being celebrated in a week-long drive of support.

Independent businesses in Bury St Edmunds are being celebrated in a week-long drive of support  Picture: MARK LANGFORDIndependent businesses in Bury St Edmunds are being celebrated in a week-long drive of support Picture: MARK LANGFORD

Indepndent businesses in Bury St Edmunds are being celebrated in a week-long drive of support.

Independents Week was officially launched today with traders and new Bury St Edmunds mayor Peter Thompson, with well-known town crier Tony Appleton being brought in to proclaim the news around the town centre.

The campaign is promoted by the Business Improvement District (BID) organisation Our Bury St Edmunds and is formally launched on July 4 - US independence day.

There are nearly 300 independent businesses in the town centre selling everything from jewellery to home furnishings and designer shoes to natural remedies.

Mike Kirkham, left, Mayor of Bury Peter Thompson, and town crier Tony Appleton  Picture: MARK LANGFORDMike Kirkham, left, Mayor of Bury Peter Thompson, and town crier Tony Appleton Picture: MARK LANGFORD

Mike Kirkham of the BID said: "Bury St Edmunds has about 59% of its businesses within the town centre that are independents, which is around 300 unique, vibrant, creative businesses.

"If you spend with an independent, even if it's just as little as a fiver, most of that money stays within the local community and the local economy, and it helps them out incredibly.

"People often say they get great customer service from the independents so we urge people to Bury and find these lovely places, there's one in every street of the town centre."

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The Mayor, who sits on Bury Town Council and West Suffolk District Council, said one of the reasons he initially stood for office was to support local entrepreneurs.

"In Bury we've got a strong recent history of a very good uptake of empty shops and strong entrepreneurship," he said.

"I think it's the function of a council to be able to support that and make it happen, thus allow the local economy and the town to prosper."

Trader Sophia Norris runs Pocket Watch & Petticoat in St John's Street.

She said: "I love having an independent store in Bury St Edmunds

"It's really important to shop local, otherwise the high street will die and that would be such a shame."

She urged shoppers to look up independents wherever they were and give them support: "Check them out and support them because it means the world to us all."

Our Bury St Edmunds Independents' Week started on Monday and runs until Sunday July 7.

Details of all the independent businesses can be found at the Our Bury St Edmunds BID website.

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