Shotton Skydive Academy is one of this year's Small Business Saturday's Small Biz 100

Small businesses named in UK’s Small Biz 100

Small businesses that reflect the diversity of the SME sector around the UK have been named among the 100 small businesses in the UK to be celebrated by Small Business Saturday, the UK’s dedicated day for small businesses on December 5th.

The companies will be among those featured, one per day for the 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday itself. Last year’s Small Business Saturday 100 also attended a Christmas Fair at 11 Downing Street with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, to mark the occasion. This year, the companies named include:

The Tweed Brewing Company in Hyde, Manchester, which was founded by 22 year old entrepreneur Sam Ward. Sam says the company forces itself to think innovatively and produce a high quality product aimed at the younger, fashionable more discerning, customer. But it also goes out of its way to support other local businesses, from its dinner time sandwiches to its hops and malts, van, office supplies, cleaning supplies and even it tanks and vessels. It consciously tries to use businesses, which are its neighbours.

Lily & Arthur’s, a licensed café, bar and tea rooms in Wigan owned by brother and sister Alex and Matt Fisher. The business is inspired by their childhood and named after their grandparents. The business buy its milk, bread and groceries from a local dairy, bakery and greengrocer, which may not always be the cheapest option, but provides quality products and the knowledge of where they are coming from.

Dial a Geek, a Bristol-based IT Support company, which provides technical support to both businesses and home users. Since being founded in 2006 the company has helped over 900 small businesses in the Bristol area and offers ad-hoc support and monthly support plans so business owners can focus on what matters, growing their business without having to worry about being let down by their computers.

Transix is a small business from Barnet, which builds award-winning transport apps and the cutting-edge platforms that power them. Its most popular app, ‘Bus Checker’, which displays live transit information in London, New York, Chile and across Great Britain, has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times. The company is expanding rapidly and aims to launch transit and journey planning apps in nearly a dozen territories by the end of next year.

Skydive Academy from Shotton, near Durham, runs parachuting and skydiving Courses at Shotton Airfield in East Durham. Skydive Academy has grown from operating a 4 place Cessna 182 undertaking 2000 - 3000 jumps a year to now operating a 16 place Turbo Prop Cessna Grand Caravan undertaking 7000 - 8000 jumps a year. It is rated the top outdoor attraction in Durham on Trip Advisor.

Small Business Saturday is already the UK’s most successful small business campaign. Last year 16.5 million adults went out to support a small business on Small Business Saturday with 64% of the UK aware of the campaign. The UK’s small businesses between them provide 60% of private sector jobs and nearly 50% of private sector turnover. Last year the campaign was featured by all major media, trended at number one on Twitter on the day and received around 3.5 million views on its Facebook page. This year Small Business Saturday carries the theme “5 million small businesses, 1 big day”.

The campaign exists as a nationwide promotional and marketing tool for small businesses, something for business owners to join up with and use for the benefit of their own small business. It is totally free to participate and all and any small businesses can get involved, from one-man-bands, through to a high growth office, and from tradesmen to social media gurus. In addition to the campaign itself, the team also delivers help and advice alongside opportunities to connect with other small businesses. In short, Small Business Saturday exists to support, inspire and promote small businesses.

“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.

“Although the campaign focuses on one day, the goal is to have a lasting impact on small businesses by changing mind-sets, so that people make it their mission to support small businesses all year round. 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 absolutely personal.”

American Express originally founded the hugely successful ‘Small Business Saturday’ initiative in the U.S. in 2010 and remains the Founding Supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small. The campaign also benefits from the backing of leading business organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses, which has a programme of supportive events planned across the country, the Association of City and Town Management, The Association of Convenience Stores, The National Federation of Retail Newsagents, the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association, and other corporate organisations including TalkTalk Business, Vistaprint and Indeed.

Logos, digital banners, a social media guide and toolkits will be available to download from the website www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com and can be displayed online or on premises. Businesses around the country will also be able to upload information to the ‘My Small Business Finder’ on the website (www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com) on what special events or promotional offers they will be running for Small Business Saturday.

More information on Small Business Saturday can also be found on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page (www.facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturdayuk) and Twitter feed (@SmallBizSatUk).

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