Independent retailers from across Darlington city center took part in a special day recognizing their importance on our high streets.
Merchants from across the city participated in the annual Small Business Saturday event, a non-business community campaign that highlights the success of small businesses and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.
Shoppers from across the region came out and supported all kinds of small businesses, online, in offices, and in stores. Many small businesses participated in the day by hosting events and offering discounts.
The day of celebration comes as Darlington was recently announced as the UK’s fourth most entrepreneurial city for 2022.
New data shows that the number of small businesses in Darlington with up to 49 employees increased by 210, representing an increase of 6.6%. Cross-referenced with the latest population figures, this gave Darlington a score of 0.19 for “small businesses per capita”, bucking the national trend.
Entrepreneurs have launched new businesses for a second source of income to combat rising prices during the cost-of-living crisis, as well as a surge in demand over the past three years.
Amber Kotrri, of House of Zana on Grange Road, believes the arrival of independents is making Darlington a ‘destination’ city centre.
“Darlington is forward-thinking and feels very collaborative here thanks to the support of the council. Everything they’re doing to help is fantastic and I’ve heard the same from other companies.”
House of Zana teamed up with the inner-city firm’s Bliss Desserts, Dr Inks and The Pasta Shop at a special event on Saturday.
Councilor Jamie Bartch, a member of Darlington City Council’s finance cabinet, said the city is lucky to have dozens of independent businesses.
“At Darlington we appreciate all of our small and independent businesses and the contribution they make to our excellent retail and business mix in the city center and beyond. We have seen increased investment in our downtown area that allows small businesses to thrive and grow.
“This result reflects the hard work and creativity of innovative local people who are determined to make their entrepreneurial dream come true.”
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 last year is all the more impressive against the backdrop of a national decline. in small businesses.” business.”
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