A 'Support for Independent Retail' campaign urging independent traders to lead by example and only shop in fellow indie stores is underway in light of research compiled by the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA).
Revealing that more than 16% of independents fear 2012 will be their last trading year, the research was conducted by BIRA and O2 in October. Retail Champion Clare Rayner, the brains behind 'Celebrate an Independent Christmas
' and 'Independent Retailer Month
', says traders must, too, shop locally.
"If we, as small business owners and independent retailers, don't spend enough locally it is hypocritical to expect other people in our communities to spend with us," she said. "We must all lead by example."
Ms Rayner is calling for all indie traders to make their New Year's resolution a promise to divert 20% of their spend with chains back to local independents. "Just 20% will make a huge difference to your local traders," she said, "because your £1 spent locally is worth at least 10 times more to the local community than if you spent it elsewhere."
The campaign and its associated activites intends to build on what is already being achieved with Celebrate an Independent Christmas, which includes indie-focused shopping crawls, posters and leaflet drops.
"Our communities are made up of people - people who work and live there," added Ms Rayner. "If we want to make a difference, to turn around the fortunes of our local areas, then we all have to start by making changes to how we shop.
"I hope that 2013 will be a year of positive change for the independent retail sector and for the UK high streets overall. A thriving local community is a great place to be, whether we're business owners or resident."