31 October 2018

Funding Circle, the UK’s leading small business loans platform, and Just A Card, the grassroots campaign run by artists, makers, and small business owners, are today announcing their partnership to help independent retailers increase sales.

Funding Circle, the UK’s leading small business loans platform, and Just A Card, the grassroots campaign run by artists, makers, and small business owners, are today announcing their partnership to help independent retailers increase sales.

In the run-up to Just A Card Indie Week, the independent, colourful alternative to Black Friday, which encourages consumers to shop from independent businesses at Christmas, Funding Circle and Just A Card are calling on small business owners to take part in the campaign.

This year, Just A Card Indie Week will take place from the 19th-23rd November. During the week, small businesses will display stickers in their windows, promoting their participation, while Funding Circle, Just A Card, and campaign supporters raise awareness of why it’s important that the British public consciously support independent businesses by making at least one or more purchases from these retailers in the coming weeks.

The campaign stems from the understanding that for Britain’s small businesses, every sale makes a difference, no matter how small. Hundreds of shops already plan to participate in Just A Card Indie Week, with 3,000 already supporting the campaign. Funding Circle will be delivering 7,000 window stickers to retail businesses in their community with the aim of directing more Christmas shoppers to their doors. With this support, this number of supporters is set to treble, at least, this year.

Early Bird Designs, a quirky greetings card retailer and publisher based in Stoke Newington, London, has been a supporter of the Just A Card campaign since last year. As a business with a shop front and online presence, co-founder Heidi Early is passionate about promoting the work that Just A Card is doing to keep local high streets alive. At the moment, Heidi is in the process of launching a new website with support from Funding Circle investors due to increased demand for her products.

James Meekings, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Funding Circle said: “Funding Circle was born from the belief that when small businesses succeed, everyone benefits. We’ve supported 42,000 British businesses access the finance they need to help them grow, and now, through our partnership with Just A Card, we can also help encourage more shoppers through the doors of independent retailers. Every sale makes a difference – no matter how small! We’re proud that we can help Just A Card treble the reach of its campaign in the run up to Black Friday, and this is just the start for us.”

Heidi Early, Co-Founder of Early Bird Designs said: “As part of both the Just A Card and Funding Circle community, I am incredibly pleased to lend my voice alongside two great brands that are working hard to support local small businesses. After running our business for over 14 years, I’m very familiar with the struggles of competing with the bigger online brands, especially on the run up to Christmas. This year, let’s all work together to encourage more people to shop local and help independent small businesses thrive.”

Sarah Hamilton, Founder of the Just A Card campaign: “We’re delighted to have teamed up with Funding Circle because we know they’re just as passionate about small businesses succeeding as we are. The British public cherishes independent shops and small businesses, they are the foundation of our country, but to flourish they need our custom and support. The Just A Card campaign helps small businesses get the vital extra sales they need.

“Black Friday is usually associated with the biggest brands in the world, but why settle for black?! It’s also the perfect time to shop in colour, so remember to buy just a card, just a book, just a card from your favourite local shop too. If you’re a small business owner – or know one – make sure you visit justacard.org so you can join the campaign. It’s fun, friendly and free!”

Joining the campaign is free, all they ask is to help spread the word and engage with the campaign on social media. Business owners can also purchase window stickers, so passers-by know that they’re a small business worth supporting.

Launched in 2010, Funding Circle is helping to spark a global revolution in the way small businesses access finance, disrupting the traditional model of banking. To date, Funding Circle investors have lent £5.6 billion to more than 56,000 businesses in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands. Funding Circle provides borrowers with fast and flexible financing through a simple online application, allowing small businesses to access the capital they need in days rather than months.


Notes to Editors

  • Interviews will be available with James Meekings, Sarah Hamilton and Heidi Early
  • Just A Card Indie Week will run from the 19th-23rd November to encourage consumers to visit participant independent retailers and make a purchase  in the week of Black Friday
  • Funding Circle will issue 7,000 window sticker packs free of charge to eligible businesses who have taken a loan through the Funding Circle platform
  • Business who want to participate should visit justacard.org or follow @justacard and @fundingcircleUK on Instagram
  • Window stickers regularly cost £6 and all money goes to the Just A Card campaign’s activities to promote independent retailers
  • Just A Card and Funding Circle will be promoting the campaign across social media channels and encourage supporters to post using #JustACard

For more information

press@fundingcircle.com / +44 (0) 203 667 2245

About Funding Circle

Funding Circle (www.fundingcircle.com) is a global small business loans platform, matching small businesses who want to borrow with investors who want to lend in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands. Since launching in 2010, investors across Funding Circle’s geographies – including more than 85,000 retail investors, banks, asset management companies, insurance companies, government-backed entities and funds – have lent over £5.6 billion to more than 56,000 businesses globally.

About Just A Card

The JUST A CARD campaign aims to encourage people to buy from Designer/Makers and independent retailers by reinforcing the message that all purchases, however small, even ‘just a card’ are so vital to the prosperity and survival of small businesses.

The campaign came about when Artist & Designer Sarah Hamilton saw the quote “If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card’ we’d still be open” by store keepers who’d recently closed their gallery. This prompted a call to action! Designer/Makers and independent shops and galleries need a voice. People seldom realise the considerable costs involved in exhibiting at design shows or keeping a shop open. Stand fees, power, materials, wages etc need to be met before even a penny of profit can be realised. Running a shop is often a labour of love. Without dedication and passion, and crucially sales, it would be another boarded up eyesore.