Forum of Private Business showcases Member’s ‘Coronavirus Virtual High Street’ initiative and challenges others to follow suit.

The Forum of Private business is showcasing one of its members Boxed Red Marketing, who have created a virtual Knutsford High Street ( to support the local community in which both businesses are based. This has been done in partnership with the Town Council and local community. The virtual high street website is an online catalogue of all the local businesses that are still providing their services, enabling the community to buy local products and support local shops and provides a template that other towns could follow.

The virtual high street is not only an invaluable source of the most up to date information on local businesses in the area, but has been purposely designed to be easily accessible and inclusive to all, especially to those who are more vulnerable and need services such as home delivery and door drop. The engaging new website already features information on the services and delivery options of 66 local businesses in and around Knutsford, including fresh, locally grown fruit & veg, independent restaurants delivering food & drink, and several independent retail boutiques and is adding businesses everyday as the community website grows and evolves.

Janna Caley, Owner of Boxed Red Marketing, said “The idea came to me when I found that my family was unaware of the businesses that were staying open and still providing services. During the current crisis we need to be supporting each other, both businesses and every one of us in our locked-down homes. The new website is proving extremely popular in providing vital information to help local residents and business navigate this unfamiliar situation”.

Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum, said “It’s important that we showcase this local initiative from a Forum Member that really does support the local high street. It fits perfectly with our ‘Restore the High Street’ campaign and provides a practical model for other local communities to use and follow. I strongly encourage other agencies like Boxed Red to replicate the concept. ”

The website was launched over the bank holiday weekend in an attempt to encourage the community to stay at home despite the good weather and support local businesses where they can. It has proved invaluable and had over 2000 visits over the bank holiday weekend alone, with most visits going to the food and drink section.

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About Forum of Private Business

The Forum of Private Business is a not-for-profit comprehensive business support organisation founded in 1977. Our membership is spread throughout the UK and primarily made up of companies that employ between 1-50 employees, helping them to manage employees, saving time, giving advice, support and protection where a business needs it. We are a recognised leading authority on business issues and represent the interests of business owners on many consultative bodies. We have built a solid reputation, being influential in many areas of policy-making, in changing laws that affect small businesses, and we continue to campaign for the fair treatment of businesses within the UK. Everything we do is about making sure our members’ businesses operate profitably. This means that every penny we make goes back in to supporting our members, providing the support and resources that will enable businesses to flourish and grow.

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