Many of Stornoway’s independent shops and businesses are joining in with the Totally Locally national Fiver Fest – a high-street shopping campaign starting from tomorrow (Saturday 10) to Saturday 24 October.

To show the importance of supporting our High Streets, Stornoway is joining with over 100 independent high streets across the UK, to put on very special £5 offers across two weeks in October.

At present around 40 shops or enterprises are planning to take part - ranging from Good Food Boutique to Rarebird Design, Wool 4 Ewe to The Colour Centre and many more.

Organisers say: “The independent shops and businesses are what makes our town special and unique. We appreciate it when our community support us, so these offers are to say thank you for that support, and to show just what great value our local businesses are.”

Fiver Fest is a free to join campaign, devised and run by Totally Locally, a grass-roots high street organization which has been helping businesses and high streets to help themselves since 2010 with incredible results.

For this Fiver Fest, Totally Locally is partnering with Visa to encourage even more small business owners to sign up to this celebration of independent high streets.

Together, they are also calling on consumers to divert £5 of their weekly spend to support the small businesses in their communities.

“If every adult in your town spent just £5 per week in their local independent shops and businesses, it would mean £1.5m here per year going directly into our local economy. Which can lead to more jobs, a better high street, a stronger economy and a nicer place to live. Makes you think doesn’t it?!”

Fiver Fest has been running successfully in individual towns in the UK and abroad over the past seven years, but in 2019 the team at Totally Locally brought together towns across the country in on big Fiver Fest celebration. In all, 43 towns joined in and the result was phenomenal with reports of new customers, people rediscovering shops they hadn’t been into in years and huge sales of £5 offers.

“We know Fiver Fest isn’t going to change the world”, said Chris Sands of Totally Locally, “but small changes in spending habits can really make a difference to our high streets. Just by diverting £5 of our weekly spend to local independents we give them a fighting chance to thrive. It’s a conversation worth having!”.

It is for this reason, that the fourth national Fiver Fest is taking place. This time it’s even more important than ever after how our world has changed during 2020 and YouGov research has shown that 59% of shoppers have used more local shops to support them during lockdown.

Totally locally was founded in Calderdale, West Yorkshire in 2010 by award winning brand and marketing expert Chris Sands.  There are now more than 60 towns in the UK who have gone ‘totally locally’ with the full ‘town kit’ and it has reached as far as New Zealand, USA and Australia. Chris decided to give away the campaign, after he was inundated with towns after the success of the campaign in Calderdale, where he lives. “I just wanted to see what would happen!” he said.

And Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has backed the “Scotland Loves Local” campaign which also encourages people to support their local High Streets and shops.  Mr Cameron said: “Our High Streets sustain numerous jobs and livelihoods across the Highlands and Islands.

“They are a linchpin of community life and it’s so important that we do everything we can to secure their future.  So I would urge shoppers to “Love Local” and keep supporting their local High Street.”

More on the campaign here: https://lovelocal.scot/scotland-loves-local/