With less than a week to go before the inaugural Small Business Saturday UK, 40 local councils have answered the Forum's call to offer free parking on 7th December 2013.
The Forum of Private Business wrote to every local council in the country earlier this year to ask them to support small businesses by waiving parking charges on 7th December 2013 as part of the national campaign, Small Business Saturday UK. Local authorities have responded enthusiastically with many creating bespoke parking offers to help drive footfall on the day.
Small businesses on the UK's high streets have been hard pressed over the past few years; costs have increased and the volatile state of inflation has hiked up the level of business rates. 97% of Forum members believe property taxation is too high and two thirds see no real benefit for the amount they are taxed by local authorities. The Forum is calling for the Chancellor to extend the Small Business Rate Relief scheme until 2015 and commit to an independent review of business rates in this week's Autumn Statement.
Alongside rates, the Forum's latest survey revealed small businesses have seen costs increase in other areas with 87% of businesses reporting an increase in energy costs, 83% in transport costs, 78% seeing a rise in marketing costs, and 69% a rise in the cost of raw materials/stock. This year saw a decline in the number of businesses able to pass on the additional costs to customers, forcing the businesses to swallow the costs themselves.
Commenting ahead of Small Business Saturday, Chief Executive of the Forum of Private Business, Phil Orford MBE said:
"It is fantastic to see so many local authorities supporting their small firms in this way. We want to see as many people as possible in local independent businesses on 7th December and believe the free parking offers will encourage people to think small and shop locally."
"As the cost of doing business continues to rise it is more important than ever to support our small businesses. The 40 councils that have agreed to offer free parking are an example of the excellent work local authorities can do to support small businesses."
Small Business Saturday UK will celebrate small businesses across the UK, and is the culmination of a campaign to encourage communities to shop local and support their small businesses. The national campaign has attracted cross party support and has been endorsed by the Prime Minister.
List of local council with free parking offers on Small Business Saturday UK. Please note parking offers vary from council to council, please get in contact with the council for details of the offer:
1. Arun District Council
2. Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
3. Blaby District Council
4. Breckland Council
5. Camden Council
6. Castle Point Borough Council
7. Cheshire East Council
8. Cheshire West and Chester Council
9. Chesterfield Borough Council
10. Cumbria County Council
11. Daventry District Council
12. East Riding of Yorkshire Council
13. Eden District Council
14. Harborough District Council
15. Hart District Council
16. Hartlepool Borough Council
17. Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council
18. Hull City Council
19. Lancashire County Council
20. Merton London Borough Council
21. Middlesbrough Council
22. Mole Valley District Council
23. Newark & Sherwood District Council
24. North Lincolnshire Council
25. North Tyneside Council
26. North Warwickshire Borough Council
27. Northampton Borough Council
28. Nottingham City Council
29. Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council
30. Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council
31. Pendle Borough Council
32. Richmond upon Thames London Borough Council
33. Rossendale Borough Council
34. Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
35. Selby District Council
36. South Gloucestershire Council
37. Stevenage Borough Council
38. Waltham Forest London Borough Council
39. West Oxfordshire District Council
40. Weymouth & Portland Borough Council
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