The retail industry and the struggle it faces in the current economic climate is always in the news, whether it be increases in rates, the rise of out-of-town and online shopping, and the failure of the Portas Pilot towns.

What the retail industry really needs is some good news champions, and that has to be down to the retailers themselves. And as soon as they think of marketing and promotion, many retailers will immediately see £££££ and shy away.

But a carefully thought out plan of action for your local area doesn't need to cost the earth and will cost even less if you can work with other local retailers in a combined effort to regenerate your town.

Rachel Parkin is an independent retailer herself, a strong advocate of collaboration and writes a regular column for Gifts Today. Her column in the June issue gives some great ideas for how to start helping your town. Click Here and flick to page 56 to read it.

July 2013 is Independent Retailer Month so why not use June to plan some activities and contact your local media about what you're doing. And then from 1st to 31st July, shout out about your local indepe4ndent retailers. You'll find more help and support from the Independent Retailer Month website.

Good luck!