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Theo Paphitis encourages hospitality businesses to prepare for Independents' Day on 4 July

Theo Paphitis encourages hospitality businesses to prepare for Independents' Day on 4 July

With less than a month to go until Independents' Day 2014, Theo Paphitis, long time star of the BBC's Dragons' Den, has thrown his weight behind the campaign.

Run by People 1st and the National Skills Academy for Retail (NSAR) and now in its fourth year, the Independents’ Day campaign celebrates the contribution small businesses make to the UK and culminates on 4 July, when the public are encouraged to visit and buy from their local independent tourism and visitor economy businesses.

Paphitis has encouraged businesses to take part in the campaign, and stressed the importance of making sure staff are trained in advance. He commented: “I would definitely encourage town centres to embrace Independents’ Day. Small and independent businesses are the lifeblood of the UK’s high streets and tourist hotspots, so making sure that they have the right skills for success is vital to the economy.

“Independents’ Day is a fantastic opportunity for small businesses to take the limelight, attract new customers and show off the unique offer that sets them apart. But it’s important that business owners are prepared to take advantage of this opportunity. That means making sure that their staff are trained to deliver excellent service, and that they themselves have the skills to promote their business and maximise sales.”

People 1st and NSAR are providing training support to businesses in the lead-up to this year’s Independents’ Day, with a particular focus on customer service skills through the WorldHost training programme, and online marketing skills through the Digital High Street Skills programme.

Out-of-home operators – including restaurants, pubs, hotels, cafes, caterers and contract caterers – can also enter a competition by Independents’ Day sponsors, Mondelez International, to win one of 30 free places on the Digital High Street Skills programme.

Paphitis added: “The key to growing a small business is not to stand still. The most successful business owners are always looking to learn and develop both their own skills and those of their staff. I would urge small businesses to use the training that is on offer through the Independents’ Day campaign to ensure they really make the most of the celebrations on 4 July.”

Simon Tarr, managing director at People 1st said: “We’re delighted to have Theo’s support for the Independents’ Day campaign – as a successful entrepreneur he clearly understands what it takes for businesses to succeed and grow, and that skills and training is a critical ingredient. We want to ensure that small and independent businesses are able to benefit from improved sales not just on 4 July, but all year round – that’s why we are making training such an important part of this year’s campaign.”

A large number of local businesses and towns have already confirmed their support for Independents’ Day and are currently finalising plans for events and activities that will take place on Friday 4 July.

More information on Independents’ Day, how businesses and other organisations can get involved and the training support on offer is available at

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