Independent retailers across Darlington town center took part in a special day recognizing their importance on our high streets.
Merchants across the city participated in the annual Small Business Saturday event – a grassroots, non-commercial campaign that highlights the success of small businesses and encourages consumers to “buy local” and buy from small businesses in Support their communities.
Shoppers were out and about across the region, supporting a variety of small businesses, online, in-store and in-store. Many small businesses participated in the day by holding events and offering discounts.
The day of celebration comes as Darlington was recently named the UK’s fourth most entrepreneurial city for 2022.
The number of small businesses in Darlington with up to 49 employees has risen to 210, a 6.6 per cent increase, new data shows. Cross-referencing the latest population figures, Darlington’s small business per capita score was 0.19, bucking the trend nationally.
To combat rising prices during the cost-of-living crisis, as well as increased demand over the past three years, entrepreneurs have launched new businesses for a second income stream.
Amber Cottery, of Zana House in Grange Street, believes the rise of independents will make Darlington a “destination” town centre.
Darlington is forward-looking and feels very collaborative here thanks to the council’s support. Everything they do to help is fantastic and I’ve heard the same from other businesses.”
House of Zana teamed up with Bliss Desserts, Dr Inks and The Pasta Shop, among other downtown businesses, for a special event on Saturday.
Jamie Barch, Darlington Council’s cabinet member for the economy, said the town was lucky to have dozens of independent businesses.
“In Darlington, we value all our small and independent businesses and the contribution they make to our great retail and business mix in the town center and beyond. We have seen an increase in investment in our downtown that allows small businesses to thrive and grow.
“This result reflects the hard work and creativity of local innovators who are determined to make their business dreams a reality.”
Cameron Shearer, co-founder and CEO of Superscript, added: “Darlington was not in the top 10 in 2021, so the way it has embraced entrepreneurship in the past year is even more impressive against the backdrop of a national downsizing of small scale . Business.”
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