Think Local campaign aims to support business with new digital initiative
- Credit: HDC
A new initiative which is part of business recovery plan for town centres in Huntingdonshire is operating in the district.
On February 9, Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) announced it had established a partnership with online retail platform Click It Local.
The partnership scheme provides an opportunity for local businesses to sell their products online in one place.
For some businesses, this was the first step they had taken to access the digital marketplace and expand their business to new customers.
HDC says this is part of ongoing proactive support for high streets and local businesses.
Click It Local is now live in Huntingdonshire, with 66 businesses already signed up to sell their products through the online delivery service.
"The number of businesses signing up has exceeded our initial expectations, and it demonstrates that there is an appetite to try new ways of doing business locally," said HDC leader Ryan Fuller.
"HDC will respond accordingly and will continue to lead the way in providing support and opportunities for our local businesses to thrive."
Customers can visit: www.clickitlocal.co.uk to find the independent businesses local to them. Local businesses can still sign up to be a part of the Click It Local digital marketplace, which is being fully funded for the first year by Huntingdonshire District Council.
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"We hope that residents will continue to do what they can to Think Local and use new tools such as Click It Local to support our local traders," added Cllr Fuller.
"One of the key reasons for the ongoing Think Local campaign is to seek out and provide solutions for local businesses in a time of uncertainty, supporting them in evolving the way that they operate to match the different ways in which customers are now interacting and shopping. There has been a surge in businesses going online to not only capitalise on the few ways that they could operate under pandemic restrictions but also to expand their network and digital offering."
"Therefore, we have partnered with Cambridgeshire-based digital agency Sookio, to provide free social media training and guidance to local, independent businesses. We want to empower businesses that may not yet have explored the digital marketplace, or even those that do already have some experience of digital marketing, to promote themselves, engage customers, find new customers and get people shopping locally.
"We have commissioned these workshops as part of our long-term recovery plan for the district and its town centres. It is an opportunity for us to provide training that can give businesses a helping hand in operating in a post-pandemic environment.
"Many retailers have been heavily impacted by the lockdown restrictions, but our work with Sookio is aimed at finding solutions and equipping business owners with new skills and knowledge to help them prosper."
The sessions are free to attend and will be taking place on Tuesday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 23, from 10am to 12:30pm. The sessions are designed to cover everything from social media basics to expanding into strategies, enabling businesses to get the most out of the sessions regardless of their familiarity or comfort level.
Sue Keogh, director of Sookio, said: "We're really looking forward to running the sessions and offering practical advice which business owners will be able to try out the very same day.
"We have lots of tips on tools to save you time and money, and we'll explain the best ways to use social media to promote your business long-term. And you might just recognise some of the local businesses we're highlighting to give you inspiration.”
Sookio has been working with Huntingdonshire District Council since the Autumn of 2020, supporting the council on its widespread and successful Think Local campaign.
Anyone who owns or works at a local business who has little social media knowledge could benefit from the sessions which are aimed at demystifying the topic.
Sign up for the sessions by registering at Eventbrite: www.sook.io/hdc