A BID to improve shopping in Cupar town centre and potentially boost the local economy by up to £2 million a year, will take its first major step next week.
On Tuesday, November 15, the founders of Totally Locally, Nigel Goddard and Chris Sands, will visit a number of independent businesses in the town to explain their concept and the way creating ‘Local Gems’ works.
Cupar businessman Graeme Black, who is spearheading the campaign in the town, explained the intention is to give local business owners more information about how Totally Locally can work for them.
Mr Black, owner of Funky Rascal, said: “The concept is very simple; we want to encourage people to think about how they spend their money.
“We know people may be sceptical about how succesful this might be, but we are not trying to ‘save our shops’ or get everyone to only shop in Cupar as we understand that people need and want to go to big supermarkets and shop online.
“This concept is about encouraging people to take, say, £5 that they would otherwise spend elsewhere, and spend it in the town.
“This £5 would go back into the economy in a variety of ways, and could, if everyone supported it, potentially result in an extra £1.9 million going into the local economy each year.”
Mr Black went on to explain that in addition to this economy-boosting idea, the Totally Locally concept goes further with the ‘magic tenner’.
“There is a huge piece of research that suggests that every £10 spent at a local business will eventually turn into £50, because local businesses tend to work with each other for example using local tradesmen.
“Using the figure of £1.9 million, that would mean almost £10 million a year going into the Cupar economy and not being sucked away by big business.”
The ‘Local Gems’ part of the idea gives shoppers the chance to nominate their favourite local businesses and they in turn are added to a website which would publicise their business across the UK.
In preparation for Tuesday’s event, Mr Black said he had already identified 15 ‘Local Gems’ whom he believes could benefit from the scheme.
These range from a gift shop, to a restaurant using local produce, and a fishmongers amongst others.
“I will be taking Nigel and Chris round our initial choices for Local Gems,” he said.
“We will chat to the people there and give them more information as well as taking photographs.”
In the evening there will be a meeting at Volunteer House in Crossgate to which all business and members of the public are invited.
Mr Black added: “We hope this will give people the chance to learn more about how simple a concept Totally Locally really is and how it can help Cupar.
The meeting runs from 5.30pm-7pm and anyone requiring more information can contact Mr Black at Funky Rascal, tel 01334 659047 or email email@example.com
Totally Locally Cupar can also be found on Facebook.