Abraham Lincoln swapping Independence Day for Independents' Day in Bury St Edmunds
- Credit: Our Bury St Edmunds
The 12th annual Bury St Edmunds Independents' Week will be kicking off with special guest appearances from an Abraham Lincoln lookalike and a town crier on Monday, July 4.
The president impersonator and town crier will be joining the town's mayor to let shoppers know why supporting independent businesses is vital to the local economy.
'Abraham Lincoln' will be swapping his US Independence Day for Bury St Edmunds' Independents' Day to champion the town's smaller businesses.
Independents' Week celebrates close to 300 independent businesses in Bury St Edmunds and is promoted by the Business Improvement District (BID) organisation Our Bury St Edmunds.
BID's marketing and business support officer Mike Kirkham said: "It's been a challenging time for independent businesses and the current cost of living increases haven't made it easier for them, but I am heartened by a study from Visa that found more than 80% of consumers were supporting their local businesses as much as or even more than they did before the pandemic.
"In the same survey more than half of shopkeepers said it's the support of their local community that has kept them going and I am sure that is true for many Bury St Edmunds businesses too."
Almost 60% of all business in Bury St Edmunds town are classed as independent, with at least one on every single street including shops, bars, eateries, well-being and professional service companies.
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While Independents' Week highlights their importance to the town centre from Monday, July 4 to Sunday, July 10, the BID is encouraging consumers to show their support all year round.
Research shows that over a third of each pound spent with an independent business stays within the area - for example, £3.80 of every £10 remains in the local economy.
Many independent businesses have special deals and offers in celebration of Independents' Week and a social media competition will also be running in which residents can nominate their favourite shop to win an Our Bury St Edmunds gift card.