Black Country shoppers urged to back independent firms

By Thomas Parkes | Business | Published:

People in the Black Country have been urged to back independent shops to help them keep trading amid coronavirus.

Carlo Ropos, owner of Oxley Stationers and Printers, Jane Stevenson MP and Councillor Paul Appleby

MP Jane Stevenson made the call to shoppers to help traders bounce back after lockdown restrictions forced them to close.

It comes as part of the Independents’ Day campaign which aims to promote the sector across the UK.

The Wolverhampton North East MP said: “Independent shops play a vital role in the Wolverhampton economy, and I know many of them have struggled to survive during the lockdown.

“The comprehensive support provided by the Government in the way of grants and business loans has been hugely welcomed.

“But as lockdown restrictions are easing, now is the time to get out and support our local shops and businesses, many of whom have been around for decades.

“I would urge everyone in Wolverhampton to shop locally if they can, and support our wonderful independent shops.”

Ms Stevenson visited Oxley Stationers and Printers, based at Three Tuns Parade, with Councillor Paul Appleby.



Carlo Ropos, owner of the store founded in 1981, said: “It was fantastic to have our local MP Jane Stevenson pop in and visit us at the shop. I thank her for supporting us and independent shops in Wolverhampton, and I would echo her call for people to come and support their local businesses by shopping locally.

“We were finally able to reopen our business on June 15, which meant we had been closed for almost three months.

“It has been difficult, but we have been grateful to receive the small business grant funding from Government, which has made a difference.”

Independent shops account for 65 per cent of the approximately 290,000 retail outlets across the UK.

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Trainee Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at


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