Futures Forum: "Discount parking for Small Business Saturday"
Futures Forum: "Publicise SmallBizSat on December 7th which aims to promote small businesses around the UK."
Futures Forum: 'Celebrate an Independent Christmas'
the Sidmouth Independent News blog has highlighted concerns for the High Street:
Support Your Local Shops Day | Sidmouth Independent News
Festive shoppers are being urged to back small businesses across the West Country as a new campaign shines a spotlight on the independent sector.
Today sees the first Small Business Saturday, a push by unique shops and retailers to remind consumers of their immense value to local communities. Customers are being asked to avoid using large chains, supermarkets and multinational companies as much as possible and instead channel their money into the local economy, where up to 70 per cent of it is recirculated and recycled.
The idea is being championed by Labour's shadow business secretary Chuka Ummuna.
Prime Minister David Cameron has also backed the move, describing independent traders in the South West as "national heroes". He said the timing of the day, in the run up to Christmas, was a timely reminder to spend money with small local shops. "Whether you're doing the weekly food shop or looking for presents for the children, it's a great opportunity to get behind a local trader," he said. "I have nothing but respect for those hard working people in the South West who strike out on their own and work day and night to make it a success. These are the values we need in Britain today and they are national heroes. That's why Small Business Saturday matters."
Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise Matthew Hancock said: "Together we've got to back the small businesses that are so important to the region's future."
Nigel Eadie, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce in Tavistock, where a large proportion of retailers are locally-created and run, said businesses were actively promoting the idea. "People do shop locally but it is important to realise the significance of small businesses and the fact that money spent with them is recycled and grows as a multiple," he added. "I think the perception of a price difference is more myth than reality and when you buy from an individual you develop a relationship on a personal level and are far more likely to get help with problems, questions and after-sales service."
The idea originated in the United States, where it follows immediately after Thanksgiving and "Black Friday" – the start of the Christmas shopping period.
The Federation of Small Businesses has co-ordinated the campaign, which will see posters and events across the West.
Mr Ummuna said sticking up for "the small guy" could help usher in a British version of the American Dream and patch up high streets hit by the recession. "I first learned about Small Business Saturday when I saw US celebrities and politicians pop up on Twitter, singing the praises of small businesses. I saw the huge impact and awareness it has, and thought: why don't we have this here in Britain too?"
Since then, a broad coalition and campaign has been brought together to establish the event here.
John Harvey, Exeter city centre manager, said he was delighted that dozens of outlets in the city were taking part. "It is an opportunity to celebrate the best of the independent businesses and I hope people will discover what they have to offer," he added. "We are rich as a city centre in terms of small businesses and this is important to the health of any town or city – they provide a unique vibrancy – but we have to work with them alongside the big stores who bring their own contribution."
See also: Appeal for support for small businesses in East Devon | Sidmouth Independent News
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