In My View – Helen Marshall

| June 2023

By Helen Marshall, CEO and Chair of Chichester BID

“You often hear it said that traditional high streets are failing! They need to transform! It’s all about the experiential!

Well, I just don’t get that at all. Here in Chichester, we have a wonderful array of independent businesses who are a predominant part of the rich tapestry of retailers that make up our local high street. The proportion of indies to national chains in our city is high – much higher than average.

And we should be grateful that this is the case.

This indie presence is what will keep our high street thriving – attracting both residents and visitors alike. And a buzzing, energetic and busy city centre is a magnet for investment – from which we will all benefit.

Yes, today’s customer in the city is looking for an experience – and our indies deliver for them. They deliver a one-of-a-kind experience. The passion, talent and dedication of the business owners has created something truly magical and unique in Chichester. It’s hidden in plain sight. You walk past it every day in the city, and it becomes invisible to us.

So, let’s now readjust our focus. Let’s challenge ourselves to seek out the indies still thriving and investing in our high street after some of the worst times in recent history to be trading as a standalone, private business.

Look out for and get involved with some of the characters that front up these businesses; they are the life and soul of our high street. Without them the character of Chichester would be lost. They foster a deep connection to the local community, which must be rewarded and celebrated.

They do their bit to keep our city vibrant – it’s now time for us all to step up and Shop Local.”