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Entrepreneurs Panel

Richard O'Sullivan
Steve Purdham
Jennie Johnson
Tony Caldeira
Debbie Pierce
Brian Hay
David Pollock
Julie Meyer
Jeremy Roberts
Charlie Mullins
Michael Oliver
Laura Tenison

An unhappy coincidence

“Today is #Happiness Happens Day! Where ever you are create an instant sing a long "Happy and you know it.” That's what Coca Cola were tweeting whilst retailers in Britain were having their shops kicked, smashed, looted and set on fire.

The feeling of happiness had long left retailers of Britain even before the riots but now they were thrown into the depths of depression whilst trying to defend their shops, their livelihoods.

It was the worst case of rioting for decades.

An absolute disgrace and a very painful time for retailers affected. Mindless criminals have closed some retailers down for good: they may never have the strength or finances to open their doors again. The bigger organisations will hang on in there, surviving somehow - but for how long?

What happens now?
The rioting has forced VisitBritain to suspend its overseas ad campaign that was going to build on the 2012 Olympics and The Queens Diamond Jubilee. It had been running since July - now it's been deemed inappropriate. What effect will this have on our tourism, on investment?

David Cameron says the rioting was "a wake up call" and will ensure policies address "Broken Britain". But what about right now? Who is helping the retailers who have had their businesses destroyed?

Retail Trust is on organisation that has stepped in and set aside £50,000 from its reserves to start delivering help and support. It has also started a #highstheroes campaign on Twitter to get help from the public. Follow @RetailTrust on Twitter to get all the latest information on how the trust is helping the retailers affected by the riots.

As well as taking donations online, Retail Trust is organising fetes, raffles, events and auctions to raise further much-needed money.

Additionally, Britain's communities have taken to the streets to clean up the mess left behind by the rioters, a friendly sight greeted by the retailers.

So if you ever decide to promote a #Happiness day via social media then my tip would be to double check what’s going on in your customers’ world first.

If you've been affected by the riots or you would like to donate please call the Retail Trust helpline on 0808 801 0808 or visit www.retailtrust.org.uk.

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