YOUR St Helens Star is once again backing a nationwide campaign celebrating the importance of independent retailers.

Independents’ Day gives shoppers the chance to show their support for the town’s vibrant sector of shops and businesses – from locally-run companies whose histories are woven into the fabric of the town to the fledgling firms trying to get off the ground.

It is estimated that there are more than 200 independent retailers in St Helens, and the Star, along with supporters such as St Helens Council, is urging everyone to get behind this year’s campaign.

Local independent businesses are the foundation of our communities and they need our support more than ever before.

The campaign, now in its fourth year, saw thousands of independent businesses in more than 150 locations across the UK get involved in 2013.

Thirteen trade associations and hundreds of stakeholders – such as councils, business improvement districts, local enterprise partnerships and town centre managers – helped spread the word and supported their members and local communities organising activities on or around July 4.

Dozens of retailers took part in St Helens – and were featured in the Star. This year the Star, which has a newsroom, advertising department and promotions team based in our offices on Hardshaw Street, aims to raise the bar with our coverage.

We will be running our own campaign to help local businesses – and we are pleased to say that several independents have already joined our crusade.

Businesses involved in the campaign will enjoy a wealth of exposure in the lead up to St Helens’ Independents’ Day, with the Star running weekly Independents’ Day feature pages ahead of a bumper feature in early July.

This year, the campaign also aims to raise awareness of the vast amount of support that is available to independent businesses to help them train their employees, become more competitive and grow.

Any other local businesses interested in joining our campaign are urged to contact our advertisement department on 01744 751441.

If you think your business has what it takes to fly the flag of independence for your local community, please get in touch.