47 businesses in Penarth have signed up for this autumn's "Fiver Fest", a national celebration to encourage locals to visit the independent shops on their high street.
Fiver Fest, which has been taking place nationally since June 2019, aims to highlight the value of independent business to the local economy, with figures calculated by Totally Local showing that if every adult in Penarth spent just £5 per week in their local independent shops and businesses it would mean £4.3 million per year going directly into the area's coffers.
Each of the 47 businesses participating in the project will put on special £5 offers over the two-week period between the 10th and 24th October.
One of the local shops taking part in the scheme is Griffin Books, an independent bookshop on Windsor Road and Owner, Mel Griffin, talked to Bro Radio about the project and how lockdown has affected her business.
Mel told Matt and Dan on The Vale This Week that lockdown had changed the way customers use her shop and related how she has had to adapt quickly to continue doing business in these unprecedented times. She said:
"Normally our business relies a lot on foot-fall in the shop and also on live author events, but obviously that hasn't been possible since the lockdown, so we have had to adapt very fast.
"We've moved a lot of business online, we now have an online shop as well. We've taken our author events onto Zoom, everyone's now getting very familiar with using Zoom, and they still get a chance to meet an author, not quite live but it's the next best thing and that's been working really well for us."
"We're finding that it's working really well and people are being really supportive and still continuing to want to support a local bookshop and benefit from what we can offer."
Watch Mel Griffin's entire interview with Matt and Dan for The Vale This Week:
Talking about the aforementioned £4.3 million per year which Totally Locally have calculated would go into the local economy should every adult in Penarth spend £5 per week on the High Street, that they might otherwise spend online, Mel said:
"That's a big deal. That means there's extra money circulating within the local economy, which helps create jobs, keep the high street vibrant and just make it overall a more buzzing and happy place to live - so it's for everyone's benefit, not just the benefit of the local businesses."
Mel went on to tell Matt and Dan about the deals that Griffin Books and other Penarth businesses will be offering as part of Fiver Fest:
"We're offering a choice of different paperbacks - which are anything up to £10 - for a fiver. (In) Some of the other businesses you can get your rings cleaned for a fiver, which would normally cost a lot more than that; you can get coffees and pastries, which would be worth maybe £8-£9; you can get beers and snacks in the local Tapas bar, etc - so altogether there are 47 businesses taking part in this promotion - which lasts for 2 weeks - and it would be really fantastic to see the people of Penarth, not only getting the benefit of those special deals but also possibly discovering some of the local shops that they haven't previously visited."
The last Totally Local Fiver Fest, which was held back in February 2020, saw over 100 towns participating, with reports of an increased buzz and an increase in sales within the fortnight of the event.
Here is a list of all 47 of the participating businesses in Penarth:
Flyers and maps will be available from the participating shops and a full list of offers will be released via social media and the Penarth Fiver Fest Facebook page soon.