December 6 is Small Business Saturday - when Lincoln's fabulous range of niche and independent businesses are hoping to be visited by many new, as well as loyal, customers.
Independents provide a wide range of essential goods and services for residents and visitors, as well as quirky gifts, fresh local produce, unique clothing and much more.
Lincoln BIG is working with the City of Lincoln Council to support this special day in the calendar, which is being led by The Federation of Small Businesses.
Ruby Red Boutique in The Strait is run by Lucie Poole and her mum Sue Powis. They opened its doors in 2007, then in 2013 went on to launch Ruby Red Kids, over the road from their vibrant boutique.
Lucie and Sue’s businesses are bright, breezy and inviting, but Lucie said it is vital that today’s small traders keep moving with the times. Many people love dropping into their shops and browsing, but it is important that the business stays in touch with both loyal and prospective customers.
“We realise that we cannot stand still and we are constantly looking for new ideas and communicating with customers, using platforms such as Facebook to remind them that we are still here,” said Lucie.
“A lot of people say they love independent shops, but then tend to walk by and head into the High Street. We would urge them to discover that independents offer different and affordable goods. It really is a case of use us or lose us.”
Paul Pepperdine, who owns F Pepperdine & Son in Sincil Street agreed. “We have been going since 1931 and employ ten people. We are retail and catering butchers, supplying the restaurant, pub and hotel trade.
“We would encourage shoppers to take a fresh look at what we offer, which is locally-sourced produce and advice on different cuts of meat and ways of cooking them,” said Paul.
“It is all about supporting local businesses and taking advantage of their experience.”
Richard Baxter is the owner of Goodies of Lincoln – a traditional sweet shop in The Strait, which is bursting with everyone’s old-fashioned and newer favourites. “Our message to shoppers this year is, pop in and see exactly what independent stores like ours offer. You could be pleasantly surprised by the wide choice and also enjoy a unique shopping experience.”
Lincoln BIG Chief Executive Matt Corrigan said: “Lincoln is famed for its niche shopping and has one of the highest number of independent outlets in the East Midlands – with over 200 independent retailers in the city centre alone, “That factor itself should encourage people to take time to discover our hidden treasures in both uphill and downhill Lincoln.”.