Shop local to help small businesses

Gilly Stretton-Knowles who runs Adopt a Dolly in Albert Road, Southsea.''Picture: Sarah Standing (151090-4699)
Gilly Stretton-Knowles who runs Adopt a Dolly in Albert Road, Southsea.''Picture: Sarah Standing (151090-4699)
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As the grassroots campaign Small Business Saturday returns for its third year, reporter KIMBERLEY BARBER takes a look at what is happening across the area and which businesses are hoping for customers’ support

The third Small Business Saturday, backed by American Express, will return this weekend and traders across The News’ area are hoping it will encourage people to use them and make the most of the benefits they bring. Many are gearing up to offer discounts and are planning events to mark the day.

Marie Telford of the Hayling Island Bookshop

Marie Telford of the Hayling Island Bookshop

Gilly Stretton-Knowles, who runs Adopt A Dolly, a doll shop in Albert Road, Southsea, will be offering a 10-per-cent discount, as well as holding a Santa’s grotto raising cash for Ickle Pickles, a charity that helps babies in neonatal units such as the one at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Ms Stretton-Knowles said: ‘The day is a good thing to recognise small businesses, other than the big stores and it helps support us locally.

‘It is quite hard to earn a living, so Small Business Saturday will make people aware of, and bring attention to, the small businesses in the community.’

She said that small businesses offered a better service and experience for customers. And they also helped to create a community.

Andre Guedeney of La Croissanterie in Osborne Road, Southsea' Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142188-4)

Andre Guedeney of La Croissanterie in Osborne Road, Southsea' Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142188-4)

‘Small businesses can do more things locally,’ she said.

‘We get involved with the public and with local people.’

Marie Telford, owner of The Hayling Island Bookshop, said that free World Book Day special edition books will be given to children who visit her shop that day.

Mrs Telford successfully lobbied Havant Borough Council in 2013 to provide free parking and she is hoping that people take up the offer as the authority is once again giving three hours free parking across all its car parks.

Mrs Telford said: ‘Once again the parking offer is a great opportunity for Havant’s small businesses to meet customers old and new and demonstrate the quality of their personal service.

‘Nationally, there is clear evidence that people are willing to change their personal shopping habits and shop locally providing we can demonstrate the right balance of value, convenience and personal service.

‘We have had strong support from our local councillors in past years and we are hoping that our new MP Alan Mak, who supported us last year, will be visiting us again during the day.’

The store will also have up to 20 per cent off all books and free canvas bags with purchases over £20.

And it’s not just retail shops planning events for Small Business Saturday.

Andre Guedeney, who runs La Croissanterie, a family-owned baguette shop, in Osborne Road, Southsea, will host a day packed with free samples to entice people in.

Mr Guedeney, who is also planning a revamp of the shop in January, said: ‘Small businesses like ours are vital to the community.

‘When you spend with a small business your custom really is valued. Your money is going straight back into the local economy, helping others to earn a living, and we also bring variety and choice to any high street.’

Robin Edwards, south-east regional director of the CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, said people should not forget about farm shops.

He said: ‘Before you rush to the supermarket or go online to buy your Christmas food and drinks, decorations or presents, have a look at the wide range of products which are grown, reared, processed or made on your doorstep.

‘It’s not just locally grown or produced foods, we have award-winning wines and locally-brewed ales, furniture, crafts and, of course, plenty of Christmas trees.’

Many farmers and landowners have set up farm shops, such as Westlands Farm, Pricketts Hill, Shedfield.

Kayleigh Collett, from the farm, encouraged people to come in and check out their produce.

She said: ‘It is a great opportunity to support small businesses, with us you know where your food is coming from and you know you are supporting a small business.

‘We are a local employer and the money goes back into the local economy.’

INDEPENDENT shops and businesses are hoping the grassroots campaign will bring in more than £500m in sales across the country.

Last year the annual Small Business Saturday, which originally started in the US and was imported to the UK in 2010, generated £506m in sales for the UK’s small independent businesses.

Millions of shoppers hit independent stores, and figures showed they spent more than £30 on average – and a third of consumers spent at least 25 per cent more than they would have done on a normal shopping trip.

‘Most people in this country own a small business, work for a small business or know somebody who does so supporting a small business on Small Business Saturday is personal and means you are supporting somebody you know,’ explains national campaign director, Michelle Ovens.

‘The Small Business Saturday campaign plays a valuable role in focusing the minds of consumers and business people on what small businesses in any sector or line of business can offer in terms of range of products and services and levels of customer service.’

In the UK Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, non-political, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

The day takes place on the first shopping Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses.

n Five million small businesses will take part in Small Business Saturday.

n 16.5 million people shopped in a small independent business last year.

n This was a 20-per-cent increase in footfall on 2013 or 2.7m more shoppers.

n 64 per cent of UK consumers were aware of the day, a 33 per cent increase on 2013.

n There were over 3.5m Facebook views.

n#SmallBizSatUK trended at number one all day on December 6, 2014 with 50,000 mentions

n 55 per cent of local authorities and hundreds of MPs supported the campaign.

Some of the Small Business Saturday deals in Portsmouth:

n Tango Tea, Albert Road, Southsea – 10 per cent off all goods in store.

n Alison Gardiner Designs, Elm Grove, Southsea – Customers will receive a free Christmas dinner candle of any design they prefer when spending over £15 in store.

n Hiscock Gallery, Stanley Street, Southsea – 20 per cent off everything in store and a free glass of fizz.

n Adopt a Dolly, Albert Road, Southsea – 10 per cent discount on all items in store when using the quote - ‘Small Business’.

n Solent Cables, London Road, North End – 10 per cent discount on all purchases over £10.

n Cash Generator, London Road, North End – 10 per cent off in-store with voucher code CashGen2015.

n Phix-pix, Eastney Road, – Video to DVD, will get an extra copy of the DVD.