It's time to boost Rugby's independent businesses - join in and share your favourite 'hidden gems'

It's all part of a new social media campaign

Monday, 26th July 2021, 4:48 pm
Updated Monday, 26th July 2021, 4:50 pm
Mr Pawsey with Christopher of Hunt's.

Rugby s independent businesses are receiving a boost in the form of a new social media campaign - and residents are encouraged to join in.

The Federation of Small Businesses is encouraging residents and visitors to Rugby to share their favourite small businesses using the hashtag #MyHiddenGems.

Small businesses account for 98 per cent of the local business community in Coventry and Warwickshire and they provide one-third of employment nationally.

Mr Pawsey at Malpass Services.

Launched this week, the campaign raises awareness of the people and stories behind the small businesses in our area and encourage people to shop locally.

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey, himself a former independent business owner, is backing the campaign.

He said: “As the former owner of a small business in Rugby, I know that these hidden gems are crucial to the social and economic fabric of our town, as well as our local identity.

"This campaign will shine a light on the stories, individuals and families behind brilliant small businesses."

Mr Pawsey then revealed his own favourite Rugby businesses - Hunt's Bookshop and Malpass Services Ltd.

He said: "Hunt’s is Rugby’s only independent bookshop, having been a family-run business since its foundation 23 years ago.

"I’ve certainly found a few great books in there, and the owner Chris Hunt also supports local authors meaning there is always something new and interesting in stock.

“Small businesses play a central role in our community as well as our everyday lives. I have previously counted on Malpass Services Ltd to repair garden machinery.

"Malpass also offer landscaping and garden maintenance services, which as well as operating a small farm where they rear calves.

"The business was founded by Stuart Malpass, drawing on his years of experience in agriculture, giving Rugby residents a great source of knowledge and advice.

"These are exactly the kinds of great local companies that the ‘Hidden Gems’ campaign will highlight.

“It has been an incredibly difficult period for small businesses, and I know that many Rugby residents are anxious about small business recovery from this pandemic.

"Despite the lifting of England’s coronavirus restrictions, huge challenges remain for local businesses including staff shortages, late payments and low footfall and many have been unable to reopen their doors to the public.

"Ensuring a small business recovery will be a central part of building back better from the pandemic both locally and nationally.

“Like many others, I look forward to visiting local small businesses this summer and I hope that Rugby residents will join me in backing this campaign and sharing their favourite hidden gems with friends and family.”