Celebration of city’s iconic Independent Businesses
The city’s unique mix of independent businesses will be once again showcased and celebrated during the It’s in Nottingham Independents campaign.
This year it will take place from 1 June to 8 July with various activities and events taking place across the city centre, including a festival, competition and a dedicated independent food and drink evening.
The It’s in Nottingham initiative is organised to help people discover and support the great range of independent outlets that the city has to offer.
This year’s campaign will kick off with a competition to find Nottingham’s Independent Business of the Year, when the public can nominate their favourite in two categories – Shopping and Services, and Eating, Drinking and Things To Do.
People can make their nominations in a variety of ways, either by picking up a voting card in one of the independent businesses, online at itsinnottingham.com/vote by emailing email@example.com or via social media – by tweeting @itsinnottingham, by tagging @itsinnottingham on Facebook or by using the hashtag #independentnottm on Instagram. The closing date for nominations is 5pm on Thursday 22 June.
The five businesses in each category with the highest number of nominations will be visited by mystery shoppers who will rate them on various criteria including staff friendliness, customer service, product range, knowledge and individuality. They will then report their findings to an expert judging panel who will choose Nottingham’s Independent Business of the Year 2017 and two highly commended businesses.
The winning business will be announced on Independence Day – Tuesday 4 July.
Scooping the overall title last year was Lace Market based gift shop and tea room, Debbie Bryan, with fashion boutique Stick and Ribbon in Bridlesmith Walk being highly commended in the shops and services category and The Coffee House of Nottingham, in Hurts Yard, being highly commended in the eating, drinking and things to do category.
“Being shortlisted in the top ten was great and provided a real boost to our business because it drew attention to us,” said Debbie Bryan. “Then it was a real coup to win the competition and when you look at the past winners – Page 45, MemSaab and the Treat Kitchen – we know that we are in great company.”
For the foodies, there will be a Moving Feast event on the evening of June 6, when diners will be taken on a special culinary tour of three independent food and drink venues in the city. People will be served a starter at Bar Iberico, main course at Merchants in the Lace Market Hotel and dessert at the Curious Townhouse, enabling them to truly experience the independents offering available in Nottingham.
The overall campaign will culminate on Saturday 8 July with the Independents Festival. Stages will be set up at several key locations across the city, with free entertainment for people to enjoy throughout the day. There will be street parties and events in some of the city’s most popular independent shopping destinations, including St James’s Street, Flying Horse Walk and Cobden Chambers.
Businesses across the city will also be getting into the festival spirit by offering discounts and freebies in-store. This includes the Beauty Temple, on Queen Street, who will be offering free 25 minute makeovers, the Ugly Bread Bakery located on Pelham Street who will have free samples and discounts to take advantage of, and Dolcino, on Beastmarket Hill, who will be holding tasty Gelato demonstrations.
Geoff Williams, a director of the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID), the organisation behind the It’s in Nottingham brand, said: “We will be highlighting and celebrating the city’s iconic range of independent businesses. Nottingham is well known for its independent offering and this gives local people and visitors an experience they wouldn’t get in other cities.”
For more information, look out for the independents festival guide that will be distributed around the city from mid-June, or head online to www.itsinnottingham.com/independents.