Two traders who have seen their businesses flourish after they joined Loughborough market’s Try a Trade scheme are urging others to give it a go.
The scheme is run by Charnwood Borough Council and the call to try it out comes during Love Your Local Market fortnight, a campaign to support the nation’s markets.
John Slack runs The Little Shop of Delights which sells ethically-sourced gifts and home décor at the national award-winning Loughborough Market.
John said: “We’ve been trading for a year now and, like all new businesses, had a tough start.
“Without the scheme we might have given up. It allowed us to develop our business and eased us through those first few months.
“Thanks to the scheme we’re now in our thirteenth month of trading and the future is promising.”
Laura Wragg runs Happy Bambino Boutique. She said: “Starting a market stall and trying to establish myself as a children’s wear retailer was made so much easier during those first few weeks by being part of the scheme.
“I was able to use my profits to buy more stock and make my stall look more professional, without having to pay the full price for my rent.
“This definitely helped me to get to where I am today.”
Love Your Local Market runs from May 17-31 and is organised by the National Association of British Market Authority (NABMA). As well as encouraging people and businesses to trade on markets, one of this year’s campaign themes is about making markets more relevant for the next generation of traders and shoppers.
Mike Bird, the Council’s markets and fairs manager, said: “Our Try a Trade scheme is open to everyone, but it’s also an ideal way for young people to test out a new business. It’s low cost, easy to do and they can learn an awful lot by selling their goods, face to face with their customers.”
Since Love Your Local Market started in 2012 over 10,000 people in the UK have tried their hand at market trading and around 1,500 new businesses have been created.
The Try a Trade scheme in Loughborough offers traders their first day of trading for free and then hire of a stall at a 50 per cent discount for the first three months, which is a saving of over £100.
As part of Love Your Local Market fortnight, from May 17-31 the Council is offering people the chance to have a stall for free on Thursday 18, Saturday 20, Thursday 25 and Saturday 27.
To apply for a free stall and to find out more about the Try a Trade scheme call 01509 634624 or email Market.firstname.lastname@example.org