Voice for Locals

11 May 2022

Voice for Locals

Glyn Roberts, CEO Retail NI & Jay Thattai, Voice for Locals


Voice for Locals is a levelling up initiative designed to aid business recovery post Covid-19. The initiative supports micro and small businesses across Northern Ireland. It offers digital tools, marketing techniques, customer experience training and business promotion through a pan NI digital directory.


A GB-based consortium, ‘Voice for Locals’ — an initiative sponsored by the UK Community Renewal Fund (UKCRF) focused on investment in skill development and local business — received £1.82m from the UK Government to support the ‘bounce back’ of the small business sector in NI.

The platform allows businesses to go digital with mobile apps, get marketed locally, get certified with e-learning courses endorsed by City & Guilds, and avail of personalised business and technology advice, to build a self-reliant economy in the wake of the pandemic.

The initiative and its benefits will be offered free to all members of Retail NI.

This enables seamless digital adoption for the retail category, which is seen as a high priority for retail brick and mortar businesses. It is also interesting to see that the need for customer experience transformation is the highest for retailers in the food and drink sector, followed by retail stores, fashion, interior design and automotive.

Retailers would be equipped to address common consumer concerns, in terms of managing a credible and useful online presence.

The team has digitised over 200 local businesses across NI in less than 30 days and is looking forward to working with local retailers to help their businesses “recover, rebuild and rebound.”

Jay Thattai, Founder and Steering Authority at Voice for Locals, said:

“We are delighted to become a member of Retail NI and share our expertise with local retailers. Voice for Locals is free and offers many benefits. Every business will have its own landing page with a business descriptor, pictures and videos featured in the Voice for Locals NI directory, ni.voiceforlocals.co.uk. Business owners will be given tools and training to collect genuine customer ratings and reviews, which will reflect online automatically, boosting the credibility of their business. Every landing page also has an enquiry button to generate leads for the businesses. Shoppers will be encouraged to shop locally with confidence”.

The consortium, which includes firms Unloc Limited and TieTa UK, is the recipient of the fifth largest grant in the UK and the largest in Northern Ireland.

For further information log on to voiceforlocals.co.uk.