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Discover the latest trends at Fine Food Show North 2020

24 Jan 2020

This year's Fine Food Show North will be showcasing over 150 exhibitors, with new food and drink producers, products and trends all set to feature at this trade-only event.
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Nearly half of Buy Now Pay Later customers continue to be misled

20 Jan 2020

Recent findings show that over 40 per cent of shoppers areunaware that missing payments when using a Buy Now Pay Later service could harm their credit score.
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Indie Bookshop Turnaround using the Power of Twitter

17 Jan 2020

The Petersfield Bookshop is an independent bookshop based in Petersfield, Hampsire, that experienced an unlikely turnaround in just one night using the power of the internet.
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'Biggest Cash Increase Ever' to affect National Living Wage from April

15 Jan 2020

At £8.72 per hour, the National Living Wage will rise by 51p in April from its current rate of £8.21
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2019 Best Small Shops competition winner in the running for Shop of the Year 2020

14 Jan 2020

Papadeli, recognised by Indie Retail as the Best Small Shop of 2019, hasnow gone on to reach the final of Shop of the Year 2020, run by the Guild of Fine Food, in the Delicatessen & Grocer... Read more…

New Christmas film highlights the importance of shopping indie

19 Dec 2019

A new Christmas film produced by Lanther Black has encompassed all that is important about shopping independent this Christmas
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How The Arienas Collective are adapting to a changing market

18 Dec 2019

The Arienas Collective is looked at as an example of digital transformation of SMEs and how this may be affecting the future of commerce.
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Retail Week Live open for registration

17 Dec 2019

Retail Week Live is an inspirational two-day retail conference that provides leaders with the ideas, insight and networks to lead through digital transformation and win greater consumer... Read more…

New app helps convenience stores compete with supermarket giants

16 Dec 2019

Snappy Shopper has recently been introduced to the market as a new app that enables local independent shops to increase their sales through offering delivery.
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Hafod Hardware encourages people to shop local

5 Dec 2019

A christmas advert made by an independent hardware shop has become exceedingly popular across the UK within a matter of days
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GoFundMy Business: The Cash-Strapped Small Business solution?

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News

GoFundMe is a crowdfunding website that aims to harness the power of social networking platforms and the internet to give people the means to raise funds, help others overcome hardship, and meet aspirational goals. It is generally known as a way to raise money for high medical bills, funeral costs or natural disaster relief.

However, according to the GoFundMe Chief Executive Rob Solomon, the crowdfunding website has recently been used as a method for small businesses to raise funds that are cash-strapped and struggling. So far campaigns for small businesses have opened across 19 countries, ranging from comic-book shops to drive-in movie theatres.

The crowdfunding website was a great success for Nicky Perry, a small business owner who owns the restaurant Tea & Sympathy and the fish-and-chip shop A Salt & Battery in Greenwich Village. She started the funding because of high rent costs "We just couldn't pay the rent," Ms. Perry said. "The rent is so astronomical."

Ms. Perry said that she had previously tried extensive ways to cut costs, including changing payroll companies, reducing head count and redesigning its menu. The reaction to her fundraiser has been overwhelmingly positive, with loyal customers stopping by the shop more often and neighbours offering to help out by working for free.

Her campaign has so far raised nearly $52,000 toward its $100,000 goal. She has said that she would consider turning to GoFundMe again in the future should the need arise again.

While there have been multiple case studies of this being an effective method for businesses to raise money and has even kept many businesses alive, not all reactions have been positive. 

One comment on The Wall Street Journal said "I don't believe that businesses seeking charity are operating as legitimate businesses.", while another explained their beliefs by saying "The contradiction between feel good funding and feel good regulatory burden is inadequately elucidated."

Similar campaigns have been used for struggling businesses that need help but don't feel comfortable asking customers for donations. Chris Doeblin, owner of an independent bookshop in Manhattan, has recently started a community lending program after competition from Amazon, rising rents, the increasing minimum wage and an inability to borrow money pushed him to the brink of closing.

Mr. Doeblin has raised $600,000, which he plans to repay within five years at 4% interest, which is a far lower rate than he could get elsewhere. The support he has received from loyal customers will help him stock up for the busy Christmas season.

"People are recognizing that there's a big downside to Amazon and buying things online," he said. "I hope it's not too late."

Initiatives such as the Indie Retail Best Small Shops competition help to bring more attention to independent retailers and highlight the central role that they play in building local communities. As this awareness increases more positive articles have begun to emerge, such as recent evidence showing that the 'death of the high street' may be overstated.

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