Sir Peter Blake Supports Local Shops With Artwork

Famous artist unveils piece celebrating High Street Heroes


Sir Peter Blake Attends Chiswick House Camellia Festival Launch

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British pop artist Sir Peter Blake has unveiled a new artwork to celebrate local shopkeepers. The artwork, HIGH STREET HEROES, features 61 shopkeepers holding the tools of their trade from 40 different small businesses from across the country and is available to download for free (for a limited period) to encourage as many people to shop locally on 6 December -Small Business Saturday.

Amongst the sixty-one chosen from thousands of entrants, are a butcher in Newcastle, a baker in Brighton and a cheese maker in Edinburgh- none are from Chiswick. London shopkeepers featured include a grocery store in Peckham Rye and a sushi shop. There are also boutique owners, chocolatiers, a fishmonger, cheese shop and a local bookshop chosen from thousands of entries from small businesses taking part in Small Business Saturday.

For the first time in his career, Sir Peter, who lives in Chiswick and who became famous for designing The Beatles' Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, has released the artwork online as a with the aim of encouraging the public to show
their support for the Small Business Saturday movement. The artwork was commissioned by American Express.

HIGH STREET HEROES can be downloaded at until 6 December 2014.

Sir Peter commented: "Small shops and the Great British Shopkeeper have been at the forefront of British culture for hundreds of years now. The notion of a "Nation of Shopkeepers" is embedded in our folklore and the wonderful variety of today’s independent shops as well as the
character that small businesses bring to a local area make them an ideal subject matter for modern pop art.

"Having worked at a local butcher at the age of 13, I have also experienced the dedication and hard work that goes into running a small shop. It is for all these reasons that I am thrilled
to be lending my support to a campaign that champions small businesses."

Local MP Mary Macleod has also urged people to support small businesses. As the Prime Minister’s Small Business Ambassador for London, Mary Macleod MP is joining forces with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to encourage local residents to do their Christmas shopping locally.

Mary commented: “We have some fantastic independent shops and businesses on our High Streets, something that contributes to the unique character of our area. We all need to do our bit to support them so they can continue to grow. I hope you will join me to take the ‘Keep Trade Local London Challenge’ as you do your Christmas shopping this year”.

“Do also join myself and Cllr Paul Lynch in Chiswick if you can for the switching on of the Christmas lights outside the George IV on Chiswick High Road on Thursday 27th November. We will be entertained by carols and many of the local shops will stay open late that night to help us get our festive shopping underway.”

Small Business Saturday is an initiative first started in the U.S. to encourage people to support their local small, independent businesses at this time of year. It has the backing of the Prime Minister and all political parties. The FSB are offering prizes of up to £500 for shopping with participating businesses in the fortnight leading up to Small Business Saturday.

Mary added:“If you have a small business and would like to get involved in Small Business Saturday, please see for more information. I looking forward to being out and about around all of our High Streets on Small Business Saturday to visit as many small businesses as I can and I hope to see many of you then.”

American Express research undertaken immediately after last year’s campaign found that 43 per cent of shoppers on the day chose specifically to shop at local independently owned businesses because of Small Business Saturday. Those customers spent an average of £33 per person on the day, generating £468 million for small businesses across the UK.

November 27, 2014

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