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Digital skills boost for independent retailers ahead of Christmas

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Red Rose Lancashire

Lancashire’s independent retailers are encouraged to take part in digital training, to help them gain more customers, especially as Christmas approaches.

As the county moved in to lockdown and many local shops had to close, Lancashire County Council took action to support local retailers to move online.

Demand for the training was very high, so the original programme has been extended to include more businesses, thanks to Covid response funding from the county council.

The free training is designed to develop the digital skills of local businesses, so they are more confident in using digital tools to promote products and conduct sales online. It also makes it easier for Lancashire’s residents to find and support local businesses online.

Working with the Lancashire’s Digital Skills Partnership and trusted partnership member Clockwork City, local independent retailers are offered the free training.

County Councillor Michael Green, Cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning at Lancashire County Council said: “We are pleased to support these training sessions for independent retailers and businesses in Lancashire.

“We would encourage companies to take the opportunity of these very useful sessions, which should be of benefit to them.

“These are very difficult times for many businesses, but by increasing a company’s online activity, they can open up new opportunities with potential customers.

“The company will also be able to continue to use the new skills they’ve gained to benefit their company once lockdown is over.”

The first 30 businesses are now halfway through the training and made the following comments about their first sessions:

Charlaine Parry from Berry Delicious Cakes in Chorley, said: “I found the training sessions very insightful and helpful. I’m looking forward to the next session. I was a bit sceptical to start with, if I would get anything out of the session and I’m happy to say it was very good.”

Victoria Lamonby from April Day Designs in Baxenden said: “The training this morning was very useful, most importantly for me it was inspiring. Working alone from home it’s easy to lose motivation with no colleagues around to bounce ideas off and this zoom meeting was just what I needed, thank you.”

Kerry Harrison from the Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership, said: “Businesses, such as Down to Earth in Lancaster, have told us that this training resulted in more people coming in to their shop and making online purchases. We hope it will have a similar positive impact for the business taking part now.

“We were very pleased to be able to work with Lancashire County Council and Clockwork City for this project, to support local independent retailers and businesses.”

Find out more about the digital skills opportunities for business at www.lancashireskillshub.co.uk/digital-skills-partnership

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