MK Council is urging businesses to get in touch ahead of the planned reopening of non-essential retail, personal care, and outdoor attractions and hospitality on 12 April to be part of a ‘rediscover local’ promotion. It will also be offering four businesses a free advert in its magazine for residents which will be delivered to homes around MK in June.
The council will be encouraging local people to support and shop with local retailers, businesses and makers around MK, highlighting the personal touch, personality and character that independent businesses are so good at providing.
It wants to share personal stories of business owners with its 70,000 newsletter subscribers and social media followers, for instance who they are and what’s important to them, how they began their business, what they love about it and what’s their proudest achievement (personally or professionally) – alongside confirming where customers can buy from them, and if they have any social media channels to follow. Showcasing the face behind the frontage can help reach new people and deepen connections with existing customers.
Business owners can either send in a short written profile (no more than 200 words) and a photo, or a short video clip of 90 seconds or less to email@example.com along with business contact details. Businesses with existing social channels can simply share their own material and tag MK Council and Invest MK for a repost. As many profiles will be shared as possible.
The council will be urging small businesses with social platforms to give a shout out to other nearby independents that they know and trust, and asking local residents to do the same – as referrals and collaborations are a great way to reach new people.
Four owners of businesses based in MK who get in touch with the council by email or on social media by the end of April will be chosen at random to receive a free quarter page advert in the next edition of the council’s magazine for residents, which will be delivered to MK homes in June. Production costs will also be covered.
The council will be running an advertising campaign from mid-April, encouraging people to support independent shops, businesses and makers in MK, and to share details of their favourite independent businesses using free social media filter.
Free downloadable COVID-19 signage and other materials remain available on the council’s website at www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/safety-signs
Shopping and spending locally has big implications for the success of an area. Experts calculate that for every pound spent with a local business, around 60p makes it back into the local economy. Spending locally helps other MK firms flourish, creating more opportunities and jobs, and allowing other firms to prosper.
Cllr Carole Baume, MK Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture said: “We want to help spread the message that independent businesses have a genuine emotional connection to the communities they serve. As lockdown measures allow, it’s well worth rediscovering what’s on your doorstep, as you’ll get a lot out of it, not just unique products and services but a friendly and COVID-19 secure welcome too.”