Independent Retailer Month is a national campaign that runs annually throughout July to highlight the important role smaller, local, independent retailers play in the community, the local economy they contribute to, and in the retail sector as a whole. 

Independent retailers and consumer facing businesses in Southend are important. They are the life-blood of our high street. They add social and commercial value to the places we work, live and enjoy. 

Buying locally supports our local traders, their suppliers and the people they depend on to run their businesses. Buying locally boosts our local economy, rebuilding confidence in our community, enabling local businesses to prosper and grow. Shopping online or out-of-town may save a little time or a little money, but for every £1 spent only 5p trickles back into the local economy. 

Buying from local, independent businesses be they shops, cafes, salons, restaurants, market traders or whatever means we each are doing our bit to keep our high street 'open for business'. It is genuinely a case of 'use it or lose it'. 

Celebrate your favourite independent retailer by voting for it in our survey. Please click here to cast your vote.