0808 20 20 888

Whatever your business, the FSB will work for you.

Keep Trade Local

What is Keep Trade Local ?


We want to see people using all of the independent businesses on the high street, and celebrate the uniqueness and flavour that they bring to their communities.


Once a high street has fallen into decline the trend can be very difficult to reverse. Still, there are issues that local authorities can address to help reverse the tide of closing shops, and help people return to the high street.

Money spent locally recirculates through the local economy many times over and has a multiplier effect- this means that when consumers spend money with local businesses, not only are they buying goods and services from experts, but they are helping to protect local jobs for local people, and encourage growth in local businesses.

What are we doing?

We are lobbying local authorities on the three Ps:



Our research shows that seven in 10 small firms think parking is priority for the future of independent shops.


Nearly 70 per cent of members said that small businesses have to wait more than the maximum of eight weeks for local authorities to decide minor planning applications. So we need to see a speedier planning system.



Local Authorities spend around £88 billion annually. This could be used to boost the local economy by using local, small business suppliers and keep procurement procedures simple.


If you are a small business owner - what can you do?

We want more people to use their independent shops and to think small first. So what can you do?

  • Speak to your FSB Development Manager to get stickers for your shop windows and if you are selling produce sourced locally try to highlight this
  • Say thank you to your customers by giving them a postcard with their purchase
  • Spread the message on social media – tweet pictures of people buying your products and share them using hashtag #keeptradelocal or post them on our Facebook page. We will host them on our Tumblr

If you are a consumer - what can you do?

Why not think small first, when you set off to the shops or when you want to employ a service or visit a cafe? The greengrocer and the butcher, they are not always more expensive than the supermarket, and they offer a personalised service that you seldom can get in a big supermarket. Sadly, the case is that if we don't use our independent businesses we will lose them.


Together we can keep our high streets not just alive, but thriving.


If you are not a member of the FSB, why not take a look at our benefits page to see how the FSB could help your business?


Car parks are often the first and last thing that visitors to a High Street see. That's why we encourage local councils to offer value for money, quality facilities, and where they don't we encourage them to change.

But it's not just about car parks. Often parking restrictions can be an issue as well.


If car parking or parking restrictions are an issue for your business, contact your local branch


The FSB has been called in by a group of businesses including FSB members to help in their fight to alter a proposed Traffic Order that will restrict access to staff and customers, and hamper the operation of their businesses.

The FSB has commissioned a report by the same traffic engineer that was used in the High Street campaign in Colchester, and Thurrock Council have listened. Councillors, council officers and FSB representatives met in early June and a way forward has been forged to come together to devise a suitable compromise.


High speed broadband is a piece of essential infrastructure for many businesses, but many businesses in Essex don't even have a stable service, let alone satisfactory speeds.


The South West Essex branch is working with local businesses to find out how the FSB can help them to improve their broadband service, all provided from Cabinet 69 and the FSB is now in touch with BT to find out how. There are other technologies available, and these are being researched as well.


Regional Vice Chairman David Barnes, himself owner of an IT business relies on reliable broadband, as do his clients. That is why he has picked up the mantle and is working with local businesses to help develop evidence to show that the service isn't delivering for businesses, and is hampering growth


In 2015 the Essex County Council superfast broadband project is scheduled to start, which will provide much greater coverage across Essex. Details of this programme can be viewed here

Contact Iain Wicks Development Manager Tel: 01206 250451