Exploring Manchester’s Northern Quarter

Why are independent physical stores thriving in an online world?

Celebrating small business success

Across the UK, independent businesses are bucking the downward trend of physical stores and booming in the modern economy.

Head off the beaten path of a city’s high street and you’ll probably find yourself in one of the UK’s vibrant independent quarters, where small businesses and start-ups are coming together to form colourful business communities. But why are independent bricks and mortar stores thriving while the high street crumbles?

Manchester Bee.To learn more, we headed out into Manchester’s famous Northern Quarter to talk to the business owners and start-ups and see what works for them.

What we found was a thriving, close-knit community of truly inspirational business owners with a real passion for the product, service or experience they offer.

We explored a boutique hotel – intriguingly named The Cow Hollow Hotel – that was entirely self-funded and beautifully designed by owner Muj and his wife, using inspiration from the places they travelled together around the world.

Art and Creative industries. We visited Manchester’s first co-working cafe, Ziferblat, which centres around offering a comfortable working space that eradicates the loneliness freelancers often feel if working at home every day.

The community feel was incredibly strong, with fitness classes, knitting groups and regular social events scheduled each day to bring freelancers together for social and business opportunities.

What we found incredibly inspiring is the amount of entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. People from the local community, who have worked so hard to offer their customers a truly unique experience, and help others to realise that pursuing their dream is possible. It’s a community built with and for the people of Manchester and that’s what makes the area so special.

So what does the Northern Quarter mean to Manchester?

“Across the UK, independent small businesses are bucking the High Street’s downward trend of physical stores and booming in the modern economy.”

– Tom Bloxham MBE, Urban Splash Chairman

“Seeing small businesses thrive in areas like Manchester’s Northern Quarter reminds us why we do what we do at KashFlow, it’s to help them succeed and focus on what they love.” 

– Oliver Shaw, KashFlow CEO

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