With the Christmas shopping season now in full swing, the Free Press is again urging readers to give their backing to local traders.
Through our Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign, we have been spreading the message about just how important it is to promote our town centre.
And now we are delighted to support this year’s Small Business Saturday, which takes place on December 6.
The grassroots campaign highlights small business success and encourages consumers to support them.
The day itself takes place on the first shopping Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact.
Editor Catherine Turnbull said: “Our campaign, which we launched earlier this year, has really resonated with our readers.
‘‘We have been delighted to play our part in encouraging more people into the town centre, whether it be to visit a shop, restaurant or leisure activity.
‘‘Small Business Saturday mirrors these aims and we hope people will take the theme on board and do more of their Christmas shopping locally, not just on the day itself but throughout the festive period.’’
In the run-up to the event, organisers will take to the roads to highlight the importance of the initiative, with its bus tour making it first stop at Leeds on November 17 and dropping in at various town and cities across the UK over the next few weeks.
Michelle Ovens, national campaign director, said: “The first Small Business Saturday last year was an exceptional example of collaboration and co-operation, with small businesses teaming up in communities around the UK.
“We always said we wanted this to be the start of something amazing; a regular event that shines a light on small businesses throughout the UK in a way that is hugely beneficial to both the local and the national economy.
“Small Business Saturday reinforces that message and demonstrates the level of diversity, innovation and talent that is active within our small business sector.”
The event also has support across the political spectrum and Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna is full behind it.
He said: “Small Business Saturday is a fantastic opportunity for all of us to get behind local small and independent businesses. They make our high streets more vibrant, create vital jobs, and help support the character of our villages, towns and cities.
“I called for the UK to have its version of Small Business Saturday in January of last year and, after just a few months, we managed to build a movement that led to massive success on the day.
“Councils got behind the day, as did business organisations, local newspapers and, above all, consumers across the country.
“We need to talk more about the idea of starting a business and getting on. Small Business Saturday supports just that and is a great way to encourage our entrepreneurs and the huge range of small businesses in every part of the UK.
“This year’s Small Business Saturday is set to be bigger and better. So, please put it in your diary and back your local shops and small firms.’’
How businesses can take part
Small Business Saturday wants all kinds of small businesses to get involved in the event, whether it be a family business, local shop, online business, wholesaler or small manufacturer.
For details of how to take part, log on to smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com and click on the ‘Get Involved’ link.
You can download a digital pack, sign up to get a local marketing pack – which includes posters you can use on the day – and get a social media ‘shout out’ when you share your plans for the event.
The Free Press is also keen to hear how shops in the area are planning to mark Small Business Saturday. Let us know what you’re doing by ...
If you haven’t yet joined our campaign to urge the Government to review business rates then go to www.change.org/p/uk-government-launch-an-immediate-review-of-the-business-rates-system-in-england-freezing-rates-in-the-interim.