In September, 25 local independent businesses joined Wymondham's fifth Fiver Fest. Because it’s been going since right before the first lockdown, people get excited when they hear it’s coming, and they get their £5 notes ready to go out and look for the bargains.
It’s part of a national organisation, and in Wymondham we usually join in twice a year. The Fiver Fest gives independent businesses a chance to work together as one festival, using our collective power to encourage people into our town centres. The £5 bargains woo people into the town, to discover or rediscover how great our shops are, and what a great experience it is just to be in Wymondham! And every smile, every dog biscuit offered, every time a name is remembered, it shows that the little guys have something special that the online giants and supermarkets can’t compete with.
In Kett’s Books we kept it extra local, and offered pocket walking guides to Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire marked down to £5. They’d sold out in the first week! So we got some more in, because we loved seeing them make people happy. We know that Reno Refills and Hemstocks Jewellers both sold out of their offers as well. So in terms of happy customers, it was a great success!
The support we have for Fiver Fest goes beyond those businesses that make an offer – for instance Aristocuts and Premier Travel really support the campaign. It’s just tricky to find a £5 offer, when you’re selling holidays and hairstyling! But we encourage the town to use all the independent businesses, not just those who have an offer.
Because spending just £5 a week with an independent can actually boost our local economy by millions. Most things can be picked up in the supermarket, but if you take an extra ten minutes and come into town, you’re benefiting people who live here, and investing in our ability to look after each other. Do you want your money to go to a corporate giant, or to someone who will clock out to run your elderly mum home if she has a funny turn?
With FiverFest we’re not waiting for the government or some big organisation to do something, we are cracking on and doing it ourselves. So thank you Wymondham for making it happen, by buying our £5 offers. And thank you for sticking with us year-round. Support your local high street, and it will be here for you, your family, and the generations to come.