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Local independent womenswear and gift retailer Aspire Style has won a national award for Best Independent Retailer.

At a time when independent retail is under increasing pressure, it's great to hear about another Solihull success story.

The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) have been representing independent retailers for 118 years and work with over 6,500 businesses of all sizes. Their annual awards recognise and reward the UK's very best independent retailers.  

These dedicated awards for independent retailers have risen in status over the years and are now acknowledged as recognising some of the best businesses in the UK.

Emma Woodward, of Aspire Style, said: ''Winning the award was fantastic and a very special honour. The award is a testament to the commitment of our staff to make the business a success. They offer amazing customer service, ensure our stores look amazing and help create a fabulous shopping experience for our customers. We pride ourselves on sourcing a delightful range of gifts, fashion and accessories, we sell products that aren't widely available elsewhere."

Independent retailers are vital in supporting the local economy. Research by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small business 63p stayed in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business. Independent businesses bring much-needed originality and variety into communities.

Solihull has got some lovely independent shops, cafes and salons and these are what makes the town unique. They create personality and character strong local identity. Please help keep it that way by shopping locally and help us celebrate independent retailers!

Aspire Style is at 26 Mill Lane, Solihull, B91 3BA