This year’s Small Business Saturday campaign is taking place across the UK on Saturday 1st December, where consumers are encouraged to ‘shop local’ in an effort to highlight small businesses in their towns and neighbourhoods.
The campaign follows a recent visit from the Small Business Saturday bus tour, seeing mentoring sessions being given to local entrepreneurs and business owners, from marketing tips and advice to accountancy next steps.
Originally launched in the US back in 2010, the annual event now takes place in the UK on the first Saturday of December with an aim to have a lasting impact on small business.
This year, Essex County Council (ECC) are supporting the campaign, allowing free use of the Park and Ride in Colchester throughout the day.
Councillor Kevin Bentley, ECC Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “We are delighted to support our independent businesses by waiving the fee for the Park and Ride and providing another reason to choose Colchester this Small Business Saturday.”
The Mayor of Colchester, Cllr. Peter Chillingworth spoke about the campaign, saying: “Small Business Saturday is a great way to celebrate and support all the small businesses that make our town such a welcoming and vibrant place to visit. As Mayor, I hope the campaign encourages many more people to shop locally and proves hugely successful for the many independent retailers taking part.”
The initiative has grown from a grass-roots campaign encouraging consumers to ‘shop local’, into an annual event that has reached millions of people, continuing to raise awareness of the crucial importance of small business.
Cllr. Tim Young, Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture, said: “With retailers nationwide facing unprecedented pressures from online shopping, fast-changing customer tastes and tighter household budgets, it is more important than ever that we continue to support our smaller independent traders whose success is key to the attractiveness and prosperity of our town centre, not just on Small Business Saturday but all year round.”
Now in its sixth year, Small Business Saturday is the UK’s most successful small business campaign, which last year saw an estimated £748m spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday.
Cllr. Darius Laws, Councillor for Castle Ward, said: “Small and medium enterprises are the backbone to the British economy. It is incumbent on local authorities to help ensure entrepreneurs thrive and growing their businesses and Small Business Saturday is a great way to encourage consumers to support them.”
Small Business Saturday campaign is supported by American Express, Federation of Small Business, online job search company Indeed, Vistaprint and accounting company Xero.
Jeremy Hagon, campaigner for Small Business Saturday in Colchester, said he was pleased the mentoring bus helped so many people this year and had been a great help in kick-starting this year’s Small Business Saturday campaign. “The tour bus visit was a testament to the huge numbers of small businesses and entrepreneurs working throughout Colchester, providing services and employment opportunities to our local communities. Thank you also to North Essex Parking Partnership for allowing us to use the High Street for such an important event”, he added.
Businesses that would like to get involved are encouraged to visit the Small Business Saturday website for further information and details at https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com
Disclaimer: Jeremy Hagon is an editor for Jumbo News.