Ripon BID’s strong hands on approach to healthy trade this Christmas under the cost of living crisis

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Ripon BID has delivered a list of events that have played out over the winter season, generating a succession of footfall within the market place.

As cost of living concerns hang firmly overhead, responsibilities have been in the hands of independent business-led initiatives like the BID to safeguard the welfare of local trades.

The BID established an events initiative for the city during the festive period.

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"Ripon BID is committed to supporting its member businesses and has been aiming its recent campaigns on bringing in visitors from outside of Ripon,” a spokesman said.

Karma Boutique shop window takes part in event competitionKarma Boutique shop window takes part in event competition
Karma Boutique shop window takes part in event competition

“For the 'Free After 3' parking incentive we used targeted marketing outside of Ripon to encourage non-residents to come in and shop here.

"Our Ripon at Christmas brochure, produced in partnership with Ripon City Council, was successfully distributed by Royal Mail to 18,000 homes in Ripon, and surrounding towns and villages."

Alongside a new organisation, namely the Traders Action Group who “enable businesses to discuss and feedback to us what they felt worked this Christmas and what they would like to see throughout the next year”, they have also strongly been pushing the Shop Local Campaign throughout the various social media channels, with major success.

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One of the events taking place was the Christmas Window Competition. With more than 25 merchants taking part and a final vote still looming, local trades talk how central to their community they have been.

Liz Hill, owner of Karma, a Boho gift and clothing boutique that sells ethically sourced, priced, and produced items from India, said: "It really was wonderful how it was bringing people out and the trail navigated everyone to all sides of the city as opposed to just the market square. It’s a fantastic way to get all ages to integrate and people who otherwise might stay home.”

The BID has recognised a time where these events are most important to trade, avoiding cut backs in trying times.

“It was fabulous to see the efforts of everyone,” added Liz.

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"It’s really encouraging business and they all want to get involved. It was certainly a joy to see the kids faces too. People were chatting, taking their time and seeing shops they might normally miss.”

Despite uncertain times, Liz sheds positive light on the events’ overall atmosphere and effect.

"It creates that sense of community spirit, and what a really special and really lovely way to celebrate the festive season,” she said.

Plans are already being made to make next year's competition bigger and better as part of Ripon BID's commitment to working towards a busier and brighter Ripon.