w/c 25th January 2021
The ‘Shop Southend on Sea’ stakeholder group have established a range of activities throughout the last year to collaboratively help all businesses across the borough and I recently mentioned that there were new plans in the works to help our independents specifically.
The growth in internet shopping over the past decade has caused havoc for many independent businesses as they have struggled to catch up with the technology and services that national outlets can more easily provide. Unlike the big chains that have more resources behind them, our independent business owners tend to cover all roles from sales to accounting, cleaning to security, marketing to stock taking, and all that is in between.
Thankfully there has been a growing movement to support locals alongside nationals over the last few years. This ongoing period of restrictions has however made it more difficult to do so as countless of independents do not have the funds or resources to set up a transactional website or establish an online presence.
Now that’s where this new plan comes in. We’re looking to launch an online independent high street in the form of a ‘Totally Locally Southend-on-Sea’ website which will bring together all of the town’s fantastic independent businesses in one convenient place if you’re looking to browse online. Customers will be able to conveniently shop locally through the site whether they search by product or service category such as ‘clothing’ or ‘books’ or ‘hairdressers’ or by a specific business name.
Each trader that signs up will get their own secure, bespoke online shop to upload the products or services that they offer. The more businesses that we have on the site, the more local people will use it and the more success all listed businesses will obtain.