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From today (September 21) the i newspaper is launching a regular feature which aims to shine a light on independent retailers and the “great job” that they do.

Highlighting the fantastic “acts of kindness” that shopkeepers have done throughout these highly-challenging times, i received a wave of messages of gratitude from customers, who contacted the paper to praise their local store workers within the first feature.

The campaign was first announced within the i’s September 17 edition at the end of BBC newsreader Babita Sharma’s story, which highlighted the importance of corner shops amid Covid-19 and asked for nominations to celebrate their work.

i’s Key Account Manager Paul Bacon said:  “We decided to start the feature to give thanks to shopkeepers that have gone above and beyond for their customers and local communities.

“We were already receiving an abundance of letters from customers that wanted to give thanks to their local newsagents before we decided to launch the campaign.

“The i also owes a lot of its success to newsagents, who often recommend the paper to their customers, and we wanted to give something back to them for their continued support.

“We will run this feature regularly and I look forward to receiving even more messages of praise from shopkeepers’ customers.”

NFRN’s National President Stuart Reddish said: “Independent store owners have gone above and beyond their call of duty and it is fantastic that i and its readers are paying homage to these local heroes.

“Independent store owners have continued to risk their lives to serve their local communities throughout Covid-19, and I urge anyone that knows of an independent store owner who deserves recognition to contact the i.”

You can propose your local store for recognition in i by emailing i@inews.co.uk with the subject line “My local corner shop” or similar, with a few sentences about what makes them a local hero.

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