Mary Portas appeals to government to launch Shop Out to Help Out scheme for independent retailers

The High Street hero, Mary Portas has issued a plea to the government to support family-run stores with a Shop Out to Help Out scheme upon the lifting of restrictions on non essential retailers this April 12th.

Portas has joined major high street names in fashion and beauty, Henry Holland and Charlotte Tilbury, to throw a collective weight behind an initiative developed to boost business for local, independent retailers when businesses reopen again next month.

The concept borrows from Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme that was launched last August, through which customers were encouraged to use cafes and restaurants with subsidised meals. The campaign for small shops now wants a similar programme, suggesting that the state cover 50 per cent of the cost of goods bought at indie, non essential retailers.

The campaign suggests that the scheme is capped at £10.

Like Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, it would run for a month in the summer, with discounts running form Monday to Wednesday, however, it would be limited to independent firms with fewer than ten staff, selling in physical stores.

First reported by the Daily Mail, government ministers are said to be ‘receptive’ to the proposal that suggests that the government would reimburse retailers with customers able to get one discount per transaction.

Portas said: “Covid-19 has chipped away at the brilliant diversity of our high streets. We need to act now to harness the support, need and love that people have for our high streets.

“These businesses, in the pandemic, have held our communities together. A scheme like this will bring a vital lease of life back to places that mean so much to us.”

Tilbury, the founder of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, said: “Independent retailers need our support to continue sharing their unique magic.”

Holland, founder of the House of Holland fashion brand, added: “Independent retailers bring our high streets to life with boundless creativity, unique points of view and a bottomless pit of ideas that you simply cannot get anywhere else.”

The idea is part of a wider campaign to support small firms – from shops to salons – dubbed Save The Street. It is orchestrated by pop-up shop specialist Appear Here.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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