On November 16, up to 50 members of Bira (British Independent Retailers Association) were invited to Buckingham Palace to attend an evening event to recognise the contribution of small businesses to the UK economy.
Members from around the UK and from a wide variety of retail sectors attended and enjoyed an evening they will not forget, with many meeting King Charles III and/or Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “This was a fantastic recognition for independent retailers and Bira in general. For those who also met the King, I’m sure it will be a memory that will stay with them.”
One attendee was Gifts Today columnist Claire Leigh, owner of Two Ducks in Woking, who is a director on the board of Bira. She is pictured (middle) talking to Prince Edward with fellow Bira board member Hellen Small, owner of Small Stuff children’s store in Sheffield.
Claire told Gifts Today: “I felt incredibly privileged to be invited to Buckingham Palace. It was thrilling to walk through the front gates, go through the courtyard, and walk up the red carpet to the one of the state rooms. I felt very honoured to meet not only King Charles III but the Earl of Wessex, as well as retail gurus (and my personal heroes) Mary Portas and Holly Tucker MBE [founder of small business marketplace Notonthehighstreet and now Holly & Co, a hub for small businesses to gain advice and inspiration]. It was just the boost that my business, team, family and customers needed during these tough economic times!’.