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Click It Local: Bishop's Stortford BID launches virtual high street scheme to support town centre traders in lockdown




A virtual high street is being launched for Bishop’s Stortford in a bid to boost town centre traders.

Shoppers will be able to visit a website and buy online with a range of independent outlets and have their purchases delivered to their door the same day under the Click It Local scheme.

Nine shops have signed up so far: Halo Beauty Sanctuary, Greek baker's Hellenic Bakeries Herts, Coopers of Stortford, The Party Box, cheese and wine bar The Bishop's Cave, Hair by Elements, Urban Spa Beauty, Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe and Fashion Flooring & Interiors.

Hair by Elements has signed up for Click It Local – from left, Jackie Colman and Tara Huntingford with Bishop's Stortford BID manager Gina Thomas. Picture: Vikki Lince
Hair by Elements has signed up for Click It Local – from left, Jackie Colman and Tara Huntingford with Bishop's Stortford BID manager Gina Thomas. Picture: Vikki Lince

Business support body Bishop's Stortford BID (Business Improvement District) has set up the initiative in response to the coronavirus crisis and hopes it will give small retailers the chance to compete with big companies like Amazon.

Click It Local Bishop's Stortford is being launched on Tuesday February 16. It has arranged a 0% commission fee for participating shops and services for the first three months. Customers pay for delivery directly starting from £3.50.

BID manager Gina Thomas said: “The Bishop’s Stortford BID is thrilled to announce a new partnership that will enable independent businesses in the area to offer local residents a click-and-collect and same-day delivery service.

Road closures in place to enable pedestrianisation of South Street and Potter Street. Picture: Vikki Lince
Road closures in place to enable pedestrianisation of South Street and Potter Street. Picture: Vikki Lince

“From February 16, through Click It Local, locals will be able to purchase everything they need from one local marketplace – from weekly food essentials, gifts and treats to last-minute basics. Shoppers can easily purchase from their local businesses, with one payment and one same-day delivery.

“Click It Local’s mission is to help save local high streets across the UK by making shopping local easier and faster than using the likes of Amazon.”

Steve Koch, the founder of Click It Local, said: “I love shopping locally so wanted to find a way to help small shops offer the same level of speed and convenience that today’s online customers have come to expect. Our aim is to ensure we can all continue to shop local, support independent shops and provide for the local community.”

In November last year, Uttlesford District Council launched the same initiative for its retailers and residents. The scheme now covers Stansted Mountfitchet, Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow, Cambridge, St Ives, Newmarket, Ely, Haverhill, Royston and surrounding villages.

Bishop's Stortford BID manager Gina Thomas shopping in North Street (44230819)
Bishop's Stortford BID manager Gina Thomas shopping in North Street (44230819)

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The Click It Local launch is part of a much wider campaign by Stortford BID to bolster the high street and keep commerce alive in the town centre.

Gina said: “The BID is exploring additional ways to encourage shopping local. We're looking to bring a town centre gift card to Bishop’s Stortford and are hoping to have this ready to launch for the springtime.”

The gift card would be used in the same way as a credit card to pay for purchases.

BID board members have also decided on a new, public-facing brand for the BID with social media channels and a website to connect businesses and customers.

Gina said: “We’re looking forward to bringing together everything happening in the town centre in one central place. You’ll be able to find out all about events taking place, product launches in-store, special offers, new menus, competitions and lots more.”

The BID also offers advice and training to its members and funds a partnership with money-saving service Meercat which finds ways to cut business bills.

The organisation’s plans for 2021 include an Easter trail in April and further negotiations with East Herts Council to offer free parking for shoppers.

Bishop's Stortford businesses interested in signing up with Click it Local should contact Anna on anna@clickitlocal.co.uk.



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