Published: 09:11, 30 November 2018
| Updated: 09:12, 30 November 2018
A leading business organisation has thrown its weight behind Small Business Saturday, which takes place this weekend.
The event, now in its sixth year, aims to encourage us all to 'shop local' in the run-up to the festive season.
Stores and traders across the county will be joining in by hosting special events to celebrate the event on Saturday, December 1.
Director of Small Business Saturday, Michelle Ovens, said: “Small Business Saturday is a day to recognise the priceless contribution of the small business sector – not just to the UK economy – but to their communities as well; whether through support for schools and hospitals, mentoring or training for other businesses and for the long-term unemployed, and so much more.
“Day in, day out, small businesses find new ways to be innovative, community-minded and capable of thriving in what are undoubtedly challenging times. We urge everyone to go out and shop local this Small Business Saturday, to give something back to the stalwarts of our communities that give us so much in return – our small businesses.”
Last year, nationwide, customers spent £743m with UK small businesses on Small Business Saturday, an increase of 4.3% on 2016 spending.
It is being supported by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) which champions SMEs.
Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said: “It’s great to see the campaign has been so successful in highlighting and promoting 5.6m small businesses working hard across the UK.
“Up and down the country, many of these firms are facing mounting pressures from increasing business rates, online shopping and future uncertainty post-Brexit while, at the same time contributing so much to their local communities.
“Which is why Small Business Saturday is a great moment to encourage everyone to show their favourite local businesses some love, especially in the run up to the festive season.”
As part of the build-up to the event, a bus tour made a stop at Tunbridge Wells last Friday to showcase local firms and help them promote the event.
Small business minister Kelly Tolhurst, MP for Rochester and Strood, said: “With more than 1,000 starting up every day, the UK’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and at the heart of our modern industrial strategy."