The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is backing a new #BackforGood campaign by Reach regional newspapers titles, which is offering a £1m support package to kickstart hard-hit businesses.
Reach is helping businesses from all sectors reconnect with customers as lockdown measures are eased with £1m of free marketing support through an initiative called #BackForGood.
It is the biggest regional editorial and commercial initiative of its kind to date being offered to thousands of businesses by the news publisher.
#BackForGood, endorsed by Bira, will see newspapers across the country support the launch in the coming weeks with specially created ‘re-opening’ What’s On editorial, as well as business to business content.
To galvanise the sector, Reach is offering the first 10,000 companies that supply their details to the new #BackForGood directory a free InYourArea business membership for one year worth a total of £1m.
InYourArea Business membership gives companies the opportunity to engage with thousands of potential customers by ‘owning’ their area, building their profile and being found in web searches.
Bira will also be offering a 50% discount to new members in their first year. This provides savings on business services, from product buying and card processing, to legal and HR services, marketing and even discounts on vehicle purchases.
Alan Edmunds, COO for Reach, said: “Reach’s regional titles are passionate about supporting retail which is the beating heart of every community. Our entire regional editorial, marketing and sales business is rallying to ensure that local businesses are given every chance to succeed on the high street and online.”
Andrew Goodacre, BIRA CEO, added: “Independent retailers have suffered their worst ever year since March 23. 2020, when the first lockdown started.
“Despite this, they will look forward to re-opening and serving customers. It is, however, a real make-or-break situation for many retail businesses. They now need to know two things – that lockdowns are a thing of the past, and that customers will return to the high street with confidence.
“We know the retailers will keep shopping safe and we hope the shoppers reciprocate by returning to the shops and come Back for Good.”
As key retailers, pet shops have been able to remain open throughout the lockdowns, and garden centres have been open during the latest lockdown.