StartUp Britain’s StartUp High Street

Startup High StreetThe StartUp Britain campaign has launched a new scheme aimed at filling empty high street shops in a bid to boost business and stimulate retail growth.

StartUp High Street intends to bring "Great British business to Great British high streets" by kicking off at the end of July with a pilot store opening in Richmond, Surrey.

Called PopUp Britain, the Richmond pilot, opposite Richmond station, will give retail space to six start-up businesses. The store will get backing from the scheme’s sponsors: John Lewis will kit out the shop, and the businesses will be insured by AXA. Each business will also get a Dell laptop, access to PayPal’s online internet payment system and a copy of Intuit’s Quickbooks accounting software.

StartUp High Street will be seeking support from local authorities to help spread the scheme nationwide, by offering incentives to landlords of empty retail units so that new stores can develop.

Emma Jones, on of StartUp Britain’s co-founding entrepreneurs, said:

“We’re seeing record numbers of people setting up businesses, and this new wave of entrepreneurs is starting out small and online. By giving start-ups access to empty shops across Britain, we hope that as StartUp High Street evolves, it will help provide a much-needed adrenalin shot to the local British shopping experience.”

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, added:

“The scheme will be a welcome addition to our high streets, opening up shops, displaying enterprising spirit and showcasing the vital support on offer to help new businesses to succeed.”

The StartUp High Street campaign comes a little over a week after the Independent’s Day initiative and an announcement by RICS of a new small business retail lease. It is also a welcome addition after Mary Portas’ Review of the High Street last year, an independent review which called for a major rethink on high street management.

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