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New website launches to support independent stores: ‘We want to breathe new life into local businesses in wake of Covid’ 

In a hard time for independent stores, a new website aims to support the people behind these companies, writes Caitriona McBride

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Innovative: From left, Christine O’Toole, Christine James and Karishma Kusurkar at BDW19 launch. Credit: Joe Laverty

Innovative: From left, Christine O’Toole, Christine James and Karishma Kusurkar at BDW19 launch. Credit: Joe Laverty

Innovative: From left, Christine O’Toole, Christine James and Karishma Kusurkar at BDW19 launch. Credit: Joe Laverty

One of the few positive aspects about the last year is that local businesses have been cherished like never before. It has been a heartbreaking year for so many business owners who have been forced to close or face an uncertain future. A new website, My Block, is the result of two Belfast women’s passion for what makes businesses here so special, and why we need to celebrate them more.

The duo behind Belfast Design week, Karishma Kusurkar and Christine James, came up with the idea for My Block during the height of the pandemic. This innovative platform will be a one stop directory that will highlight and celebrate the diversity and heart and soul of local independent businesses across Belfast who are such an integral part of the business tapestry in Northern Ireland.


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