Ipswich Microshops celebrate 'whirlwind' of a first year
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
An Ipswich creative hub that provides affordable retail space for independent businesses is celebrating its first birthday.
MicroShops, in Carr Street, was launched to provide a space for small businesses to grow and Ipswich residents an opportunity to find everything they need in one place.
In the last 12 months, 18 businesses have taken up residence - including six that have gone on to expand into bigger premises.
Ben Stamp from Cookie Barista, who has been trading in MicroShops since the hubs opened, said: “We've had a good year. I absolutely love the place as it’s a hub for the community.
“We're all very supportive of each other, so when it comes to local people and new businesses, this is just perfect for that.”
Claire Moore from Cakes & Bakes by Lacey Grace, who opened her shop in April, said: “The last few months have been up and down, I would say. There's no massive footfall at this end of the town but weekends are better.
“The building itself is really great and the people that you work with here are really lovely. We are like a big family. We’re helping each other, and I think MicroShops have got a lot of potential.”
Junior Ngoma from JR’s American Candy, who has been trading at the hub since last September, said: “The opportunity in regards to the indoor market has been very beneficial for me. Everything is only inclusive so in that respect, it's been good.
"You can build up your clientele here if you later want to move into bigger premises."
Natalie Sebastian, from Evolve Estates, which manages Microshops Ipswich, said: “We are excited to celebrate the first anniversary of Microshops, which has already made a huge impact on the local retail scene, with 18 small, independent retailers enjoying healthy business growth since they opened here.
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"We have had a whirlwind year, which included being mentioned in the House of Commons as a success story, and have created a really special community.
"The idea behind Microshops is for local businesses to test the market without committing to a bricks and mortar space.
"We've already demonstrated what a great concept this is, with six businesses already moving to larger, permanent premises after using their pods as an incubator, which is fantastic news for them and the local economy."
The MicroShops traders will be celebrating the hub's first anniversary with a range of special promotions and discounts that will continue throughout the weekend.