Hello! I am Caz, the creator of Thame Rewards Club - Shop OX9 Directory and 'Caz Wales Photography', who lives, works in and loves all things THAME! I'm a mum of two (the most recent arriving in June '20) and generally seem to love spinning plates (not literally!)
I created and launched Thame Rewards Club at the beginning of 2019 with the goal of raising the visibility, awareness and use of fantastic local independent businesses within 5 miles of Thame. You can currently sign up for just £5 per year and enjoy exclusive offers from participating businesses to provide an added incentive to shop local, reward loyalty or encourage you to try something new. Having grown up in Thame I know there are SO many high quality businesses nearby but it can be difficult to know who and where they are so I thought i'd make it easier! By supporting local independent businesses we can help our local economy thrive and ensure that our High Street and surrounding area continues to have a high quality diverse collection of independent businesses.
Since the arrival of COVID-19, like so many local businesses it has brought huge challenges. When the lockdown began, I realised it was difficult to know what local businesses remained open and details of their amended services (such as home delivery of essentials) so I decided to create the 'Shop OX9 Directory & Guide' to provide a comprehensive central platform which makes this information easily accessible. As businesses start to re-open and some normality resumes my goal is in the longer term is for the Guide to be the local go-to guide for us all to discover and enjoy local independent businesses .
A silver lining of the COVID-19 Pandemic is that our community have turned to local independent businesses (Between 20th March and 1st June over 11.5k of you visited the Shop OX9 Directory!) even more so for everyday essentials and many businesses have managed to adapt, remain open and even thrive. However I am equally aware that many are struggling with either reduced capacity/services or have had to temporarily close (like my photography business). We can all take action now to support local independent businesses whether that's through accessing their services/products currently available, purchasing gift vouchers or through simply showing them some love through leaving reviews, sharing positive experiences with friends/family, giving them a like on social media and/or engaging with content.
I am passionate about making a difference and the recent shift towards embracing independent businesses I would love to become a long term change rather than a short term response to the Pandemic. This will only happen if we pull together as a community to #thinklocalfirst and support our local independent businesses.
As Thame Rewards Club is also about supporting the community, 20% of what is raised from TRC membership each year is donated to a local charity/not for profit organisation. We will be opening the community nominations for this year soon!