Small businesses create Christmas fair inside Downing Street to mark Small Business Saturday
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and the Business and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock have joined small business owners from the length and breadth of the United Kingdom in Downing Street, including 15 who have been selected to display their products and services, at a special Christmas market in the street itself to mark the UK’s second Small Business Saturday on December 6th when small, independent businesses in communities across the country will be in the national spotlight.
Small businesses around the UK are also planning events, promotions and other activities to attract clients and customers to them both on December 6th but also as a way of creating a mindset for people to more readily think of doing business with small, local companies. Already more than 30,000 small businesses around the UK have engaged with the campaign on various social media platforms, many of which have downloaded marketing packs and posters to display on their premises.
The businesses displaying their wares in Downing Street reflect the wide mix of activities that make up the UK’s 5.2 million small companies, from the traditional to the innovative, from online to physical, from consumer-facing to business to business. They are:
The Two Fingers Brewing Company, based in Farringdon, London and the only beer brand that gives back to the men that drink it, by giving all profits to Prostate Cancer UK.
The North East Art Collective, an art gallery in Newcastle, displays more than 2000 artworks, including originals, prints, photography and furniture, and supports over 130 local artists.
Quails Fine Foods has been a purveyor of fine foods for over 100 years. Located in Banbridge, Co. Down they have evolved from a small butchers shop to a modern day food hall and delicatessen.
Cambridge-based Bizitalk.com exists solely to support and promote small businesses across social platforms. It has a distinctive business model in that members are also shareholders in the company.
Wigwam Toys is a small family run independent toy shop in Brighton, specialising in beautiful, design-led, traditional and affordable toys and gifts for children.
Chegworth Valley is an organic farm in Kent growing fruit, vegetables and salads and producing award-winning farm pressed apple and fruit juices. Fruit & veg boxes are delivered daily to Kent and London.
Cocoa Amore, based in Leicester city centre, is a hand-made chocolate shop offering chocolate making classes in store. They are aiming to roll-out as a franchise over the next few years to introduce fine hand made chocolate to the middle of the market at accessible prices.
Rafis Spicebox is a small, family-owned business, with shops in York, Sudbury and Harrogate as well as a growing mail order business. It is an Asian delicatessen enabling you to create authentic Indian curries at home.
Winifred and Mabel is a Cornish Craft Co-operative, based in Wadebridge. It supports 17 micro handmade businesses which all rent space within their shop, as none are yet big enough to have their own premises. The shop includes artists, textiles, silver jewellery, decoupage, teddy bears and others.
A Star Media is a film production company based in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, which creates innovative films for businesses locally, nationally and internationally.
Sales Coaching Solutions helps other small businesses grow by setting them clear goals and equipping them with the tools to be successful. Owner Alison Edgar is also on the National promotions panel for Growth Voucher Funding.
The Shake Shop from Witney makes amazing milkshakes, smoothies, frozen yoghurts and ice-creams as well as stocking classic old fashioned sweets, kiddies favourites and American imports.
Hey Sailor is a Glasgow-based online retailer that sells fun and quirky jewellery, accessories, homeware, vintage and designer goods.
Gousto, which appeared on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den programme, is based in Shepherd’s Bush, London. It enables you to choose and cook delicious meals at home by sending quality ingredients in exact portions, and easy-to-follow recipe cards nationwide.
Cheshire-based Whiteys Popcorn is on a mission to create the best popcorn ever. Whether sweet or savoury, each batch is popped, sifted and checked personally by owner Mark White.
Around the country communities are also coming together to mark the day. In Grantham, for example, a festive Food and Drink Fair will support local producers and retailers; Sefton Council on Merseyside and New Forest Council in Hampshire are just two of a number of authorities to offer free parking on Saturday, December 6; local choirs, musicians and street performers will provide entertainment in Kettering ahead of a Catwalk Christmas Fashion Show.
“The first Small Business Saturday last year was an exceptional example of collaboration and co-operation with small businesses teaming up in communities around the UK,” explains National Campaign Director Michelle Ovens.
“We always said we wanted this to be the start of something amazing; a regular event that shines a light on small businesses throughout the UK in a way which is hugely beneficial to both the local and the national economy. Small Business Saturday reinforces that message and demonstrates the level of diversity, innovation and talent that is active within our small business sector,” Michelle adds.
Michelle goes onto say that, with 5.2 million small businesses in the UK, the chances are that if you don’t own one, then you work for one or know somebody who does.
“This isn’t some abstract economic concept,” she says. “This is personal. It’s about getting out and supporting your friends, your neighbours and your family members and reinforcing your local community and economy.”
Speaking about Small Business Saturday 2014, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, comments:
“Small Business Saturday, in only its second year, is already a great British campaign.Small businesses are the backbone of both the UK economy and our local communities, and I am incredibly proud that 2 million new businesses have been created under this government. We will continue to support small businesses through cutting the cost of business rates, reducing red tape and giving them the support they need to grow. I hope others will also show their support and visit their local small businesses this Saturday”.
Small Business Saturday UK has attracted the support of leading business organisations including Federation of Small Businesses, the Association of City and Town Management, Association of Convenience Stores, Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association, as well as corporates like American Express, O2, Lloyds Bank and NatWest and prominent entrepreneurs Theo Paphitis, Karren Brady and Martha Lane Fox.
More information on Small Business Saturday, participating retailers and details on promotions and other incentives to ‘shop locally’ can be found on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page (www.facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturdayuk) Twitter page (@SmallBizSatUk) and website (www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com).