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The Future is Independent… (we like to think!)

October 26, 2010
Local Independent Businesses

Local Independent Businesses

We’re always on the look out here for anything which will help us to promote the independent businesses we have here in Didsbury and West Didsbury. Independent mighn’t be everyone’s cup-of-tea (after all, some people prefer being able to pick up a coffee that tastes the same, and served in a room in the same decor, whether in Manchester or Milton Keynes). That’s absolutely fine and we respect that people like different things. We’re also not saying that any business that operates more than one outlet is bad – we love Pizza Express and we do sometimes venture into supermarkets. But, mostly, we love the one-offs. The businesses where you know there’s nothing quite like it anywhere else.

And that’s why a tweet yesterday caught our eye, asking for people to vote for the Best Small Shops in Britain 2010. What really caught our eye however, was this – a request to vote for:

…independent fashion boutiques, bookshops, beauty emporiums, interiors shops, garden centres, delis and even corner shops; retailers that are holding their own against the big chains and supermarkets, and keeping our high streets alive

The categories are Best for Women’s Fashion, Best for Men’s Fashion, Best for Health & Beauty, Best for Children, Best Bookshop, Best for Food (and it categorically states, “no supermarkets”), Best for Wine, Best for Interiors, Best for Gardening and Best Cornershop. And let’s face it, we don’t have to think too hard for nominations for these categories in Didsbury and West Didsbury.

Mary Portas

Mary Portas

And, to add to that, independent retailers can nominate themselves and be in with the chance of winning a scholarship to three Mary Portas Masterclasses, worth over £1000 each.

The closing date for voting is 10th December 2010, the winners being announced in The Telegraph Magazine in February 2011. To vote, simply click here and nominate.

We’ll just leave you with the words of novelist Jeanette Winterson from The Observer Magazine June 2010 –

…I like a neighbourhood, and that is not the same as a road leading to a supermarket… I don’t like the chilly world of corporate retail – not the food shops, not the bookshops, not the chain stores. I prefer individuality and eccentricity and self-determination – all the things the free market is supposed to deliver and never does, because markets soon become homogenous and anti-competitive…

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