Smaller firms take the spotlight in big event

From left, Flick Drummond, Samatha Worsey (owner of Southsea Bathing Hut) Mark Pembleton  economic regeneration manager Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Donna Jones and Cllr Lee Mason
From left, Flick Drummond, Samatha Worsey (owner of Southsea Bathing Hut) Mark Pembleton economic regeneration manager Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Donna Jones and Cllr Lee Mason
Commuters in a crowded South Western Railway train on the Portsmouth to London line during rail strikes in January this year Picture: Carey Tompsett/PA Wire

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VARIOUS businesses were offering discounts this weekend, celebrating Small Business Saturday.

Portsmouth City Council offered free parking in a number of car parks for shoppers for the event, which recognises small firms and draws customers to them through offers, promotions and campaigns.

Companies based in Portsmouth, Gosport, Fareham and beyond took part in the celebrations.

Samantha Worsey, owner of Southsea Bathing Hut, showcased her stall at the Love Southsea market at Palmerston Road on Saturday.

Samantha said: ‘We’re still a relatively new business but, when we started out, this event is one of the first things we read up about.

‘We were named in a top 100 small businesses list and invited to Downing Street to meet David Cameron.

‘I encourage people to get involved because it’s the best way to tell customers that we’re here so that they come and check out our produce!’

In Winter Road, Seeded, an arts and crafts shop, put out nibbles, mulled apple juice and other festive treats.

Owner Alexis Seeded arranged for the Portsmouth City Band to perform Christmas favourites throughout the morning.

Entrepreneur Jenna Boyson set up a stall for her business, Forced To Be Fussy, which sells indulgent, baked goods that are dairy, gluten and soya free.

Jenna said: ‘I’m constantly networking with other businesses and we’ve found this event is a driving force in informing customers about the importance of investing in small, local businesses.

‘We’re competing against big names so this event makes us stand out. I’ve baked enough for two days but it isn’t the end of day one and I’m almost sold out.’