Honiton traders get set for Fiver Fest boost to the town's economy

Fiver Fest in Honiton

Fiona Hanratty owner of the Lacemakers, left, customer Liz Pole customer and the Lacemakers' Sophie - Credit: Totally Locally

Dozens of traders in Honiton are gearing up for the 12th to 26th June FIVER FEST, which will see Honiton residents showing the love to their local independent shops to celebrate the town’s community spirit and unique, small-town character.

Traders will give back to the community during the Fiver Fest, which is taking place in towns worldwide, by offering special £5 promotions in store.
Cafe owner Cllr Fiona Hanratty is one of the FIVER FEST organisers and will be writing to the Chamber of Commerce to publicise the details. She points out you can’t order a Full English Breakfast online, and that independent cafés like The Lacemaker with its spruce new outdoor seating area, help make Honiton a destination. By breaking just one online, multinational or big chain store shopping habit, everyone can do their bit to help Honiton bounce back from a squeeze that was already hitting towns hard before COVID. 
“When we work together, everybody wins.” says Cool Heat South West’s Jason Hannay. “Joining in with FIVER FEST is free. Organisers just ask that traders look to this as not just promoting their own business, but promoting ALL the independent businesses in Honiton.” He has noticed a new spirit of cooperation in the town since last summer’s Fiver Fest event, with traders supporting each other rather than focusing on competition. 
During lockdown, our local businesses have proved more than ever, that they play a pivotal role in the wellbeing of our community. The FIVER FEST is the chance for independent businesses to use their collective power to encourage people back to Honiton town centre, to say thank you to customers who supported them during lockdown, and to prove once again that the small guys can compete with the online giants & the supermarkets. 
A feature of last summer’s events was Liz Pole’s giant foam FIVER FEST board. She will be visiting shops to fill up her Honiton shopping collage again this year: helping owners pick their offers, and taking photos.

She says: “If you're an independent business in the Honiton area, please get involved. We'll provide promo posters for your window, and shout out about your Fiver Fest deal on our social media pages @TotallyLocallyHoniton. Email us at totallylocallyhoniton@gmail.com for more information or to provide details of your Fiver Fest deal”.
The FIVER FEST is open to all independent businesses in the Honiton area: shops, cafes, restaurants, gyms, market traders, garages, beauticians, butchers, florists, photographers, therapists to name just a few, whether High Street businesses, on the Industrial estates and outlying areas, or independent suppliers.

Cllr Jake Bonetta says he will be supporting the organising team in its preparations for the Fiver Fest, and publicising it in a special hand-delivered letter to St Michael’s residents.

He says “What’s great is that the Fiver Fest team isn’t waiting for the government or some big organisation to do something, it’s Honiton’s community cracking on and doing it for ourselves.”
Helen Newman at Honiton Sports, one of Honiton’s FIVER FEST founders, plans some great health and wellbeing offers.

She says: “One of the Fiver Fest’s slogans is ‘Shop like your high street depends on it – because it does!’ and that rings true. Just £5 per week spent at local independents by every adult in Honiton would bring an extra £2.3 million into the local economy. “We’re in a use it or lose it situation where clicking might feel more convenient today, but when shops are gone what’s convenient about that?”
Convenience is a byword of Kate Green at The Photography Shop, with her one-hour processing, photo prints, mugs and memorabilia. She is the team member who runs the programme’s website www.totallylocallyhoniton.co.uk, and does most of the creative work in publicising the event on the @TotallyLocallyHoniton Facebook page and sharing into The Honiton Community group to bring shoppers into the town. She is part of a crop of younger entrepreneurs who have opened up during lockdown, and says Father’s Day is likely to be a highlight this time, as well as a special prize draw. 
Some of the participants in the 2020 FIVER FEST were The Lacemakers Cafe, Planet Sal, Combe Farm Shop, A1 Print and Stitch, Manda Matilda Kraft skincare, Pearls Nails, The Kate Dixon Photography Shop, Hillview Floristry, The Honiton Sports Shop, Jippi Jappa,  Bruvs Bar, Toast, JK’s Bistro, Chippee, Roots to Health, The Honiton Wine Bar, Lombard Antiques, L’Reigns, RKL Tools and Hardware, Pavot, French Hen, Porkies, Paddy the Hypnotherapist, ZEST, Moba Boutique and James’s Patisserie and Sandwiches.

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