Independent businesses need support and we should do something about it.

Individuals or businesses in the Jewellery Quarter are all part of the same local community.

Fighting coronavirus has been our collective priority but now we all face a new challenge: recover our economy and hopefully “build back better”.

Parity and JQ Card offer complementary ways for individuals and businesses to boost local spending power.

Over the coming months, we’ll be sharing positive stories from local independent businesses to prove #BirminghamisBack

Local independent businesses have stepped up in this pandemic and there are numerous positive stories.

The 1000 Trades worked with Birmingham City Council to introduce outside seating on Frederick Street, allowing them to safely serve their locally sourced beers to needy customers with a bit of alfresco dining.

Stratum Now based in St Paul’s Square has been helping businesses develop safe and remote working practices.

Clover HR also based in St. Paul’s Square has been providing local businesses with the advice needed to access the government support to keep staff in place through this crisis.

Combined these businesses show that working together can be better for everyone.

Parity and the JQ Card are amazed by this effort and would like to contribute.

We are promoting the #BirminghamisBack campaign to share positive stories and celebrate how local businesses cope and adapt to the Covid-19 disruption.

We want the local community to be inspired about what is taking place locally and encourage them to support independent businesses.

It has been fantastic to see entrepreneurs take a risk and open a new local business in these troubling times. 

Barber Therapy and the Roots Market are genuine local heroes.

The former provides a completely secure and safe space for customers to enjoy a one-on-one hair experience.

The online booking system easily assigns people a slot to come in and relax – “sometimes visiting the barber is more than just a haircut – it’s a therapy session”.

The Roots Market is bringing to the JQ a new way of shopping, more similar to the Slow Food or the Clean Kilo than Tesco.

It’s a supermarket selling locally sourced, seasonal and organic food, ready-prepared meals and cook-at-home recipe boxes made on site.

Removing unnecessary packaging, the Roots Market is on a mission to be plastic-free by 2025 and you will be able to buy grains, pulses, seeds and other store cupboard items from around 70 dispensers in the shop. 

One key way that we support local independent businesses is through encouraging people to spend with them.

Parity offers a local currency and marketplace for business owners to trade without cash.

It boosts local spending power and creates new connections; see how it works here. It’s now being used by 22 local businesses and has facilitated £1000s worth of local transactions.

The JQ Card encourages individuals to spend with independent businesses by offering discounts and incentives to shop locally.

It’s now being used by over fifty retailers and allows local people to be rewarded for shopping locally. Combined we are hoping to support businesses through these troubling times and come out stronger together.

#BirminghamisBack is a campaign open to all local businesses.

The idea is to put the spotlight on our independents and give them an opportunity to communicate how they adapted and how they are planning to come back.

Whether you are a firm, shop or sole trader do please get in touch with Parity at to arrange a video interview on Zoom – we’ll start sharing stories on social media in the coming weeks.