Shop Local – MK Council offers Free Publicity

Milton Keynes Council is encouraging us to shop local. This could be good news for local shops to get free publicity!

The council wants businesses to be part of a ‘rediscover local’ promotion. The promotion includes offering four businesses a free advert in its magazine for residents. Residents will receive the magazines at their homes around MK in June. Before you think you won’t be eligible check the small print. If you own one of the non-essential retail, personal care, and outdoor attractions and hospitality businesses – apply before reopening on 12 April.  

Support and Shop Local

The council will be encouraging local people to support and shop with local retailers, businesses and makers around MK. They’ll be highlighting the personal touch, personality and character that independent businesses provide.

Excitingly, it will share our personal stories, that is business owners, like you and me. The stories should reach up to 70,000 newsletter subscribers and social media followers. You’ll be able to share who you are and what’s important to you and how you began your business. Add in what you love about it and what is your proudest achievement (personally or professionally). Finally, let customers know where can buy your goods and services and the details of your social media channels.

Of course, they believe that by telling people more about you and your business can attract new customers and deepen connections with existing ones. The key is to shop local!

What to do

It’s simple, just set aside some time to write a short profile (no more than 200 words) and send a photo. Alternatively, send a short video clip of 90 seconds or less.

Send either option to  along with your business contact details.

Similarly, if you have a social channel, share your own material and tag MK Council and Invest MK for a repost.  They will share as many profiles as possible.

Equally important, the council will also be urging small businesses with social platforms to give a shout-out to other nearby independents that they know and trust. Local residents can do the same – as referrals and collaborations are a great way to reach new people.

At the end of April, the council will choose at random four selected businesses-owners based in MK. These businesses will receive a free quarter-page advert in the next edition of the council’s magazine for residents. In addition, they’ll cover production costs.

Downloadable COVID-19 signage and other material

Generally speaking, shopping and spending locally have big implications for the success of an area.  Experts calculate that for every pound spent with a local business, around 60p makes it back into the local economy.  Spending locally helps other MK firms flourish, creating more opportunities and jobs, and allowing other firms to prosper.

To help with this process the council’s advertising campaign will encourage people to support independent shops, businesses and makers in MK. They want everyone to share details of their favourite independent businesses using free social media filter.

Businesses can also get free downloadable COVID-19 signage and other materials from the council’s website at

Cllr Carole Baume, MK Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture said: “We want to help spread the message that independent businesses have a genuine emotional connection to the communities they serve.  As lockdown measures allow, it’s well worth rediscovering what’s on your doorstep, as you’ll get a lot out of it, not just unique products and services but a friendly and COVID-19 secure welcome too.”

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