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Independent retailers 'optimistic' over future of high street

More than half of independent retailers hold a positive view on the future of the high street, a new government-backed study has found.

The study, which polled 2,000 members of the public on their views on the high street, found that four out of five shoppers would miss the high street if it wasn’t there.

Research conducted by 3Gem on behalf of Visa found that more than half of 750 independent retailers polled were optimistic over the future of their local high street, with those in the east of England, West Midlands and North West most optimistic.

Four in ten (40.7%) independent retailers describe themselves as ‘optimistic’ about the future of their local high street and more than one in ten (12.3%) are ‘very optimistic’ about the future of their local high street.

The research findings also show being part of a local community (41%) and building relationships with customers (29%) are what retailers enjoy most about running their businesses.

The study supports the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government (MHCLG)’s initiative to support the Great British high street. 

Communities secretary James Brokenshire said: “High streets are crucial in creating jobs, nurturing small businesses and driving local and regional economies. We want to celebrate the best examples of high streets, as well as those individual businessmen and women playing a leading role.”

The poll was conducted between 26 April and 8 May.

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