Shoppers can celebrate Bedford's independent businesses at Fiver Fest

Totally Locally's Fiver Fest returns to Bedford

Shoppers are encouraged to support Bedford's local businesses this month with the return of Fiver Fest.

The national celebration of independent businesses will run until October 24 and dozens of businesses in Bedford will be offering special £5 deals.

Totally Locally is a grassroots initiative that encourages small businesses to work together as a community to protect the future of the high streets they operate in.

Tim Edwards, owner of Beerfly and Wesley Neville, assistant manager

It does this by offering free Town Kits as well as hosting Fiver Fest - a celebration of Britain’s fantastic small businesses and shops.

This year, Visa has partnered with Totally Locally as part of its ‘Where You Shop Matters’ campaign to encourage small businesses to sign up to Fiver Fest and call on Bedford consumers to spend £5 extra where they can with small businesses.

After seeing 103 towns take part in Fiver Fest in February this year, Totally Locally founder Chris Sands is hopeful this October’s festival will be even bigger and make a real difference to the independent businesses in Bedford.

He said: “I was inspired to set up Totally Locally in 2010 after creating a successful shop local campaign and strategy for my home town, Calderdale. Following that, other towns asked me to do the same for them.

"I love supporting independent businesses and communities, so I decided to offer the campaign as a free kit, to empower individuals and independent businesses to work together to help their local high streets thrive.

“This month, we’re running our fourth Fiver Fest – a nationwide celebration of Britain’s independent businesses backed by Visa, and it’s fantastic to have Bedford signed up again.

"Bedford’s independent businesses are vital to the success of the town centre and have gone above and beyond during lockdown to continue supporting their customers and communities.

"Over 80 businesses in Bedford have signed up to Fiver Fest, with special offers on everything from craft ales at Beerfly to artisan cheese at The Bedford Cheese Company – providing a great opportunity for local shoppers to discover independent businesses close to them.

"Together with Visa, we’re encouraging people to get involved and spend £5 a week where they can with small businesses either online or offline.”

Some of the businesses signed up to Fiver Fest this year include:

Bedford Cheese Company – a cheese shop connected to artisan Decant Wine and Cheese Bar that launched during lockdown after seeing appetite from local shoppers for quality cheese delivered to their door. Owner Sophie Robinson was inspired by the strong communal feelings around Fiver Fest and is excited to be involved.

BeerFly – An artisan beer shop that has been involved in several Fiver Fests offering customers the chance to try unusual and different beers from all over the world. Owner Tim Edwards is also a passionate supporter of local initiatives and charities making sure to help whenever he can.