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Bright ideas at Chard pop-up shop
6:00pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in News
THE region’s first Pop-Up Shop, designed to help new businesses, is up and running.
The enterprise is the result of a collaboration between the Chard Town Team and South Somerset District Council’s Market Towns Investment Group, which funded the project.
PopUp Britain, the retail arm of national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain, is also a partner in the project and will profile each new tenant on its website.
The pop-up concept enables new business people to try out their bright ideas in a real retail environment but without the long-term financial commitment of their own shop premises.
Businesses can use the space for up to three months, with a varied range of retailers appearing in the pop-up over the 12-month period of the project.
The Chard Town Team, led by Garry Shortland, will oversee the day-to-day running of the shop.
Chard entrepreneurs sharing the new pop-up business space as it opens include local taxi firm founder Kevin Wood, now retailing three inventions; Katy Roswell, a former Holyrood Academy pupil with a range of bespoke wedding stationery and services; and designer and maker Meg Whyte with products she has created for camping, the home, garden and beach.
District councillor Angie Singleton, chairman of the Market Towns Investment Group, said: “This exciting idea gives a boost to new businesses and a new shopping opportunity to attract local residents and visitors to Chard’s town centre.
“I am delighted that the Market Towns Investment Group has been able to help this initiative.”
Cllr Jo Roundell Greene, the council’s environment and economic development spokesman, added: “The success of small businesses is key to the economic health of our market towns.
“Providing support for start-up businesses to enable them to flourish is a vital part of the South Somerset economic strategy.”
Anyone who has a business idea they would like to try out can contact Garry Shortland any time over the next 12 months on 07982-591025 or log on to the PopUp Britain website to complete a short application form www.popupbritain.com/apply
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