Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) is working to elevate local brands to overseas consumers as part of \u201cIndependent Retailer Month,\u201d happening throughout July. The campaign, popularised annually in North America, is designed to promote local shopping to local consumers. While the Bermuda version of Independent Retailer Month will focus locally like other jurisdictions, it will also reach globally, stimulating spending from shoppers near and far. \u201cIndependent merchants are the backbone of local economies everywhere and a critical part of the Bermuda tourism sector,\u201d said BTA Interim CEO Glenn Jones. \u201cAs part of our \u2018inside-out\u2019 recovery marketing initiative, we will promote some of Bermuda\u2019s finest retailers in the local market, while also using the Bermuda Tourism Authority\u2019s vast social-media reach and e-mail marketing database to connect the island\u2019s merchants to an international audience.\u201d Independent retailers of Bermuda-made or Bermuda-inspired items with an e-commerce presence and international shipping options stand to benefit the most, but all merchants meeting the criteria are eligible to participate. Qualifying businesses are small shops owned by a Bermudian individual, family or partnership, and not affiliated with established global brands or franchises. To participate, retailers can complete our online Participation Form and indicate whether they\u2019re offering special incentives for consumers in Bermuda or overseas\u2014such as personal-shopping assistance or deals on international shipping. Businesses not yet online or not offering overseas shipping will receive guidance on new opportunities to go digital and broaden their reach. This might be of special interest to Harbour Nights merchants unable to engage a large volume of visitors this year. Throughout July, the BTA will work with the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce and Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) to attract shopping to independent retailers throughout the island, in-store and online, leveraging the hashtag #ChooseBDA. As part of the campaign, the BTA will include a dedicated page on our website and host a week-long Instagram Stories takeover (July 13\u201317) on its consumer-facing channel (@Bermuda), dedicated to supporting Bermudian-owned businesses. Independent Retailer Month is part of the BTA\u2019s \u201cInside-Out\u201d marketing strategy activating our community to support local businesses and jobs as air visitors return to the island starting tomorrow.