Waltham Abbey partners give businesses a boost

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Sue Calvert and Jo Rata Sue Calvert and Jo Rata

Business partners are helping boost the economy by letting people know what’s “on their doorstep.”

Sue Calvert and Jo Rata started Keep It Local, a company aimed at giving independent businesses a better profile in their communities, in September.

Saturday saw the first Keep It Local event of 2014 in Waltham Abbey Town Hall with 52 stall holders taking part and a further 40 on the waiting list and 500 people coming through the door.

Mrs Calvert said: “There was such a positive reaction. There’s definitely a need for Keep It Local.

“I felt there should be something in Waltham Abbey to let residents know what services were available to them in the town.

“The aim of the business is to bring the community closer as well as giving local traders a boost.”

Stallholder Lisa Swindell is a Waltham Abbey based personal trainer who runs Fitness and Mind and Kids Fitness Zone.

She said: “Keep It Local is really helpful I got two clients from an advert I put on the facebook page.

“It helps businesses like mine get their name out to the local community which obviously helps us and we’ll be attending the next event.

Waltham Abbey Stationers manager Vic Copsey, who attended the event, said: “It was well organised and they got the promotion right because there was a good footfall.

“We’ve been here for 23 years but it was still beneficial for us it’s all about being able to promote the business and I was able to speak to about 50 people.

“I would definitely do it again.”

The Keep It Local Waltham Abbey facebook page now has more than 2,000 members after being launched in September and sister pages for Epping and Loughton have also now been launched.

Mrs Calvert and Ms Rata run the website in their spare time to promote the exhibitions where they charge £15 for a stall.

Keep It Local will be holding another event on May bank holiday and other similar events around the district in 2014.

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