Small Business Saturday receives local authority support

Government and local authorities are pulling together to support the UK’s first Small Business Saturday, due to take place on December 7. Some 27 local authorities across the country will offer free parking on the day in order to encourage consumers to spend in independent businesses, following pressure from support organisation the Forum for Private Business. 

Chief executive of the Forum, Phil Orford, said, “Free parking is a proven benefit to small businesses. The response from many councils has been really encouraging.”

The event aims to celebrate small businesses and encourage consumers to spend locally, and has been endorsed by the Prime Minister and all major political parties.

Toby Perkins MP, the shadow minister for small medium enterprises (SMEs), said, “We want to make sure that people take a moment to look at all the great small businesses that there are in each of our communities. It is important to maintain diversity on the high street.”

He added that the scheme would also help independent businesses raise awareness of their products and services for the future. 

The initiative will also see a Small Business Saturday Bus Tour, which will visit 11 cities around the UK offering advice on taking part in the day and general support for small business. The tour begins in York on Tuesday 19.

Small Business Saturday has been a proven success in the US, where it is held the weekend after Thanksgiving. Last year generated an estimated $5.5billion in sales nationwide.