Small business event aims to encourage people to shop locally

TRADERS Caroline Collings-Wood from Portsmouth & South East Hampshire Branch Committee of the Federation of Small Business, Denise Hodges owner of If It Races in North End, and business owner Betty Burns on Small Business Saturday last year     Picture: Allan Hutchings (133386-666)
TRADERS Caroline Collings-Wood from Portsmouth & South East Hampshire Branch Committee of the Federation of Small Business, Denise Hodges owner of If It Races in North End, and business owner Betty Burns on Small Business Saturday last year Picture: Allan Hutchings (133386-666)
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A NATIONAL event to get more people using their local shops will take place in under a month – and The News is encouraging readers to take part.

Small Business Saturday on December 6 aims to encourage people to use shops owned and run by people in their communities.

The News has been running a campaign since the beginning of the year to encourage readers to look to local shops instead of relying on national and international retailers.

Editor Mark Waldron said: ‘We fully support Small Business Saturday, and continue to ask our readers to support our campaign to support retailers in our area.

‘Small Business Saturday highlights the thousands of firms in our area who need our support. Without our custom, independent shops will struggle to survive.’

The Federation of Small Businesses is also supporting the campaign.

Neil Eames, development manager for the Federation of Small Businesses in Wessex, said: ‘We are delighted to again support this year’s Small Business Saturday campaign on December 6.

‘Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to show government at all levels, and consumers, why they should support our small firms every day. Last year the Federation of Small Businesses was firmly behind the campaign and we look forward to making this year an even greater celebration of small businesses.’

According to research taken after the event in December last year, 43 per cent of shoppers chose to use their local shops specifically because of Small Business Saturday.

These consumers spent an average of £33 per person in small businesses.

And almost half of those aware of the day who shopped in a small business said they spent more than usual, with nearly one in five saying they had spent at least 50 per cent more than they would have usually done on a typical Saturday.

Prime Minister David Cameron said of the event: ‘I have the utmost admiration for the millions of people who run a small business in this country.

‘They are making an enormous contribution to our economic recovery and their hard work and commitment embodies all that is great about the UK.

‘Small Business Saturday is a vital reminder that we need to celebrate small businesses not just on one day, but all year round.’

Retailers interested in taking part in The News’ Shop Local campaign can contact business reporter, Claire French, by emailing claire.french@thenews.co.uk.