2020 has been a difficult year for many small retailers across the borough. In response, Dudley Council is launching the new initiative as part of its shop local campaign, ahead of this year’s Small Business Saturday (December 5).

The virtual market aims to bring together small and independent retailers from across the borough’s high streets, allowing them to showcase a selection of local products, unique gifts, offers and experiences known as “rewards”.

Businesses can choose to offer either a delivery or click and collect service to shoppers.

It’s free and easy for businesses to register and Dudley Council’s Dudley Business First team will be able to help them get started. 

It will allow residents choosing to shop online to shop local and support their high street knowing 100% of the profits will go to the store holders.

The market went live today (November 9) and will be available at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/markets/dudley-christmas-market 

It’s free for businesses to register to be part of the market. To find out more call Dudley Business First on 01384 812001 or email info@dudleybusinessfirst.org.uk

Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said:

"Every year, we encourage people to get behind our small and independent retailers in the run up to Small Business Saturday.

But this year it’s more important than ever before that we support those businesses who have worked hard during the pandemic to stay open, provide essentials and support Dudley communities.

While we still encourage people to visit our town centres safely ensuring they follow the latest social distancing guidelines, I’m really pleased we’re also able to offer an online alternative, giving people the opportunity to support their local high street from the comfort of their own home.

And with only eight weeks left until Christmas, I’m sure many residents will already be starting to think about their Christmas shopping. I would urge anyone planning to shop online to browse our virtual market first and foremost once it goes live."

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