Nigel Nelson, Founder.
“Having been raised just outside the provincial town of Tavistock on the western edge of Dartmoor in Devon, I have witnessed the agonising disintegration of our local shops in my own little village.
No longer is there the Post Office or the corner shop, that went 10+ years ago, butchers, and bakers went about five years ago. Then the independent grocer, the handy hardware shop, the bike and repair shop, our local garage, hairdressers, the off licence and one of the pubs, are all now gone. Sadly, with this departure, so has a good part of the village’s soul.
This is being replicated up and down our country, slowly eating away at the very proud tradition of the British local community spirit. It sounds very apocalyptic, and there seems to be no real answer on how to stop this trend, let alone reverse it. I thought to myself enough is enough, and with the ongoing pandemic and the devastating effects it’s having on the country – the time to act is now.
Alongside my team, I founded Shop Local UK Org in order to create awareness and to reach the public on a national scale, all with a need to promote this campaign in a clear, cohesive manner.”
Jake Lines, Co-founder.
“When Nigel first approach me with the idea of creating a nationwide campaign to encourage all to shop local, I immediately knew that he was on to something – in fact, I was shocked that something like this didn’t already exist.
There are many independent shop local campaigns up and down the country, but to my knowledge, there is yet to be one with a central message and goal, or one that the government has backed on a national scale. This is why I knew I needed to be involved.
I have been working with Nigel from the very beginning, from brand conception to developing and launching this site. The first task was to make sure that the branding and what we are trying to achieve behind our social movement is clear, consistent and powerful. I genuinely believe we have delivered this and hope that the brand will become an iconic, household name.
Being a small business owner myself, co-founding Shop Local UK Org aligns with my very own ethos to remain a small business for small businesses. Whether it’s a physical shop or digital services, there is something personal about supporting shop owners and freelancers alike – even more so with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Like Nigel and Jim, and our growing partners, I am proud to be a part of the beginning of something truly special.”
Jim Tuggle, Production Manager.
“I am very excited to be associated with the campaign behind Shop Local UK Org. I have known its founder Nigel for over 25 years both professionally and personally, and when he first approached me with the concept, I couldn’t have been more on board.
Originally from the States, I moved to the UK in 1991, where I have been living in the west country ever since. One of the main attractions of this beautiful region was its quintessential English villages and the close-knit communities that came with them, a far cry from my home town of Cleveland, Ohio.
Having witnessed the disintegration of the small independent shops in local villages and surrounding communities over the past 30 years, I am very committed and hopeful that the more people can be made aware of the importance of shopping locally. I also hope they react accordingly by supporting their local shops and businesses, so we don’t lose any more.
Since opening my own business, Significant Signs, in 1996, me and my team have enjoyed a successful business due to the support of local companies and individuals in this area to which I am incredibly grateful. I am thrilled to be of service and be involved with Shop Local UK Org, and I genuinely hope to make a difference both locally and nationally by raising awareness.”