The Small Business Saturday campaign took place on Saturday 2nd December highlighting small business and encouraging consumer spending amongst independent retailers.
An annual event, now in its fifth year helps highlight all kinds of small business, from family businesses, local shops, online businesses to a wholesaler or small manufacturer.
The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses.
This year Colchester unfortunately missed out on the Bus Tour which began on Monday 23rd October in Dundee and concluded in Brighton on Friday 24th November.
Tom Flynn, Director of Operations for Small Business Saturday UK said: “We’d have loved to visit Colchester with our Bus Tour, however I’m afraid the route had been set for this year. I’ll certainly add Colchester to the list for consideration for next year.”
The bus has played host to numerous activities, workshops and small businesses exhibiting.
Our bus tour was a huge success this year! We launched our mentoring programme and supported hundreds of #smallbiz. @ACCA_UK were one of the business experts who sent their small business members to the bus to provide free advice to local businesses. https://t.co/Bi82N8mVci pic.twitter.com/ZSfXrfvd3y
— SmallBizSatUK (@SmallBizSatUK) November 29, 2017
Many towns and cities across the U.K. including Colchester have pledged their support for Small Business Saturday encouraging visitors to town centres to shop in independent retailers and to try something different.
Will Quince (Con), MP for Colchester said: “Small businesses in our Borough employ thousands of staff, providing services and goods to help grow our economy.
“It is important that we all support them and the Small Business Saturday campaign truly highlights how hard entrepreneurs work to make a real difference.”
The Mayor of Colchester, Cllr Gerard Oxford (Ind) supporting the campaign said: “Small Business Saturday is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and support the smaller independent shops that are the life-blood of our Town Centre and key to our prosperity.
“They simply cannot succeed without the ongoing support of shoppers. I would urge everyone to go out and support them this Saturday.”
Cllr. Darius Laws (Con), Castle Ward commented: “Supporting smaller and independent retailers and restaurants is a great way to ensure diversity in our town centres.”
Small Business Saturday has also been given support from one of the town centre’s largest retailers, Fenwick.
Carl Milton, Managing Director of Fenwick Colchester spoke in favour of the campaign: “I’m delighted that Colchester will once again be demonstrating its support to independent retailers on Small Business Saturday.
“The success of small businesses is crucial to the heritage and fabric of our Town Centre, and it is great to see the town coming together to support this initiative. I look forward to seeing the public come out in force to support this Saturday.”
Danny Watts, Director of Tollgate Partnership Ltd that owns the Small-Business Centre Pappus House in Stanway said: “Without small businesses there would be no major brands that exist today. That means no Apple, no Ford, no Google, no Tesco and no Fenwick.
“From all great things must start humble beginnings. We’ve all heard the slogan from many a politician that ‘Small businesses are the backbone to the economy’ and with 650,000 start-ups in the UK last year, it probably is true.
“We can’t solely rely on large corporations. Supporting small businesses is vital to ensure growth in the local economy and to help job creation as businesses grow.”
Mr Watts continues by discussing the struggles retailers face: “Small retailers in towns struggle more than most, not only by competing with online shopping but also to large retailers within town centres themselves, which can usually undercut the little man due to better buying power.
“Without support, the existing small businesses will disappear and we will be left only with large faceless corporations. Small businesses matter and as a community we should do all we can to support them.”
Colchester has over 300 small businesses, shops and restaurants in the town centre alone with many located along Eld Lane, Short Wyre Street, Long Wyre Street, Queen Street and Crouch Street.
Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.