We launched the Independent Derry card over a month ago now. Since doing so, we have had lots of positive feedback and reactions from the people of Derry. We are chuffed you all like the idea and even more chuffed that you have been using your cards around many of our independent businesses. This write up is all about the Independent Derry card, why it's a good idea to have one and why keeping things local when you are out and about in our city is the way to go.
1) You're helping give Derry's economy a boost
If you're like us, and want to see Derry continue to thrive and grow, shopping locally is KEY. This is why we introduced the card, to encourage people to use local businesses. When you shop locally, you are helping boost our economy. It's like a little snowball effect. We spend money in our independent businesses, the business owners source their products / ingredients from other local businesses, the money being spent goes straight back into the community and ultimately this is what lets the community exist. If we didn't have these independent businesses there wouldn't really be much else there. This isn't the case when you spend your money in organisations that have a global presence, the ones you find on every single high street. In fact less of the money goes back into the economy when you shop in these places and it takes longer to do so too, therefore slowing down the whole process of giving our economy a boost. And that's not exactly what we want is it?
2) You're supporting the local people who own these businesses
When you use your Independent Derry card and shop in an independent business, you're supporting someone who is more than likely just like yourself. Someone with a family, someone who works hard, someone who has a passion for what they do and will be forever greatful when you decide to pop in and use their small business over the larger ones. It is these kinds of independent businesses that aren't in it for monetary reasons, they simply exist because the person behind it has a love for what they do. This is something that stood out when we spoke to the owners of the independent businesses on the card. You could see how passionate they were about what they were doing and how they knew their businesses inside out. When you visit a small business your experience will definitely be a more personal one and whatever it is you buy it will have a sense of uniqueness about it. You're guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face and the odds of you returning to that independent business another time are high (we hope).
3) You're helping make Derry a destination
Independent businesses are what makes one place differ to another. You can go to almost every city in the UK and you'll find the same old large organisations, and these places get boring after a while. Why would you want to go sit in a McDonald's when you could probably do that when you are at home, or in any other city in the world for that matter. People like to experience new places when they visit a city, and by using our local businesses and enabling them to succeed, we are creating an independent scene. A vibrant one full of little independent bars, eateries, cafes and quirky shops, places that give our city character. The more of these we have the more attractive the city becomes to those who don't live here. Independent businesses make our city unique and when you become part of Independent Derry you are helping us champion these businesses and you are helping us give them the recognition they deserve. This make's our city more attractive as a tourist destination. 2016 seen the best year ever for Irish tourism with almost 9 million visits to our country. We want to see this number increase even more next year - and we want to see a large proportion of those people come to Derry!
(Photo by Derry Photos).
4) Giving other entrepreneurs a motive to start their business It's quite simple. If we create an Independent Derry scene, see high numbers of people use our independent businesses on a daily basis, and high numbers of people using their Independent Derry cards, then surely this will be a kick up the backside for other budding entrepreneurs who might have new ideas and plans to help our city grow. They may need something to give them confidence, something that suggests small businesses in our city are doing well and can be successful. If we can do this through Independent Derry, then we are doing something right. We want to see independent businesses popping up all over our city rather than seeing them disappear because national chains and larger businesses are pushing them out of the way. Again, this all relates back to thinking local and shopping local, then others might just find the motive to do what they love and introduce their own business too.
5) The Independent Derry card means you get discounts & offers
And finally, the fifth reason you should get yourself an Independent Derry card is because the card means you can receive discounts and offers in over 20 independent businesses around our city. Who doesn't love a little discount / freebie when they are out and about? The list of places the card can be used is growing and so it makes sense to have a card if you're someone who uses our independent businesses on a regular basis. If you don't use them much, well, we have just entered a new year. And as the saying goes 'new year, new me' and all that... time to make shopping locally your new years resolution. And having an Independent Derry card might make that resolution easier to achieve.
We want to see Derry do well, to see it grow and to see it become even more of a vibrant place than what it has already become. We all need to do our part with this thought in mind. It starts with shopping locally, shopping locally has many benefits for our city and introducing the Independent Derry card is a way to encourage people to use the many independent businesses that we have. Together we can create that Independent Derry scene that we have mentioned probably one too many times throughout this blog, but ultimately, that is our mission. And we want to make it happen. Make shopping locally a trend. If we do this, we are helping our city in the long run.
AND we have lots of other ideas we would like to share with you further down the line, but first lets get everyone using their Independent Derry cards, achieve that mission we keep talking about, and we'll work on growing the list of places you can use it! You can buy an Independent Derry card online, or they are available to buy at RoCo Hair, RoCo Brew Bar, Spaghetti Junction, Yellowmoon Clothing or the City Centre Initiative. £7.00 - Valid for 1 year, that's less than 15p a week for lot's of discounts and offers... http://www.independentderry.co.uk Happy new year from Independent Derry.