Our little intependent shops have been struggling in recent years, and harder than ever. Struggling to be seen, to pay ever increasing rents & business rates, and particularly to keep up with the mind-boggling realm of the internet.
It might seem counter-intuitive to want to help these little businesses. After all, it's survival of the fittest out there and there's no room for those that can't hold their own.
Sandwitched in-between the big name stores, these are the shops with the quirky individual identities, catering for those niche purchases or personalised eating experiences that you just can't easily find elsewhere. The people behind the counters will often seem that little bit more friendly than in the mega-store, perhaps be more knowledgable about what's on their shelves, and from time-to-time will even surprise you with an unexpected discount or perk. You may even be on first name terms with them. These are the alternatives to the huge branded shops that make one city seem very much like the next. They are the seasoning for the often bland sameness of our high-streets.
I think that's worth supporting.
They're small enough to still be able to offer a personal touch, but sadly their size does make them susceptable to being overshadowed by their larger competitors.
The Pi Street is a project from the mind of Phil Campbell (@philcampbell) based around the concept of using clever technology & social media to help local independent businesses connect with their customers and each other. It's as simple in form as a monitor on a wall powered by a super small computer called a Raspberry Pi. But these arn't just going to be advertising monitors. The scope is far more reaching, looking to open up the narrative not only of the independents themselves but the potential that we should all be thinking about for our commercial & social spaces.
I'm not going to try to describe the strategy behind Phil's thinking as he does that far more eloquently in the information & videos on his Kickstarter campaign page. Please do visit the Pi Street website www.thepistreet.com and www.kickstarter.com/projects/philcampbell/thepistreet-socialscreens-for-the-high-street-inde
If you're reading this before the end of 25th May 2013 then please do donate, however small the amount. We all need each other's support from time-to-time and the time is now for this project.
Please help The Pi Street support these local businesses & make the high street a place of & for the future. They already have all the character & personal commitment you can shake a stick at.