Business owners and other local stakeholders at the launch of Sacriston Shops

Championing independent businesses

Sacriston Shops is a new business support scheme that was an outcome of MutualGain focus groups held with local residents and businesses and Durham Constabulary in Sacriston in 2016.

Supported by the Sacriston Community Development Group and the local councillors for Sacriston division, the aim of the Sacriston Shops project is to champion retail and other businesses that are based in Sacriston, County Durham – whether those are high-street businesses, or enterprises that are home-based, mobile, or online.

A major focus of the project is making Sacriston more visible online, by using social media to promote its existing businesses and spread positive messages.

At the same time, by showcasing the village’s appeal as a vibrant, up-and-coming place to invest in, the intention is to support Sacriston’s regeneration by helping to fill empty units and create a more attractive mix of retail uses.

Project activities

Commissioned and funded to deliver the project for a day a month during its initial period of development, CannyInsights.com focused on developing local traders’ digital skills, and building an online presence for Sacriston’s business community.

Digital marketing training

We provided free, one-to-one social media training sessions, to help retailers set up their own business profiles, showcase their businesses through great photographs, and grow their digital skills and confidence.

As a result, those businesses are now better equipped to promote their own businesses online, while also being able to play their part in championing the wider Sacriston offer.

Establishing and managing Sacriston’s online presence

We set up and initially managed @sacristonshops accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and posted and shared regular updates on behalf of the project.

During our involvement, the Facebook account grew to over 600 followers, and achieved a monthly organic reach of around 3,000 people (in a village with a population of 5,000).

Over 30 different Sacriston retailers and other businesses were featured, helping to raise awareness of those businesses among the local community, but also to foster new networks and connections between those businesses.

By providing an outlet to promote local business, the Sacriston Shops project, which is now managed locally, hopes to help those businesses grow, create local employment opportunities, and encourage residents of Sacriston division to spend their money within the area.

Updated 15 April 2018

Can we help your area?

If you’re interested in CannyInsights.com promoting and working with retailers in your area, drop us a line and we can have a chat.

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