The campaign hopes to build on the success of last year’s, which saw 40 local authorities answer the call to remove charges for the inaugural celebration of small businesses.
The Forum has written to all local authorities to ask them to consider removing parking charges on the day in the spirit of the event to provide an added incentive to shoppers to hit their local high streets on the first shopping weekend in the run up to Christmas.
Parking charges continue to discourage many consumers from shopping on their local high street, diminishing small businesses customer base. The Forum believes that getting local authorities to consider removing these charges on 6th December would go a long way to creating the conditions to build on the success of last year’s Small Business Saturday UK.
The UK is home to 5 million small businesses. Providing two thirds of private sector employment and almost half of private sector turnover, small firms are also the driving force in ensuring the continued and sustainable growth in our economy. Small Business Saturday UK represents a unique opportunity to get behind our small businesses and allow them to showcase their products and services to their local communities.
Commenting on the launch of the campaign, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business, Phil Orford MBE said:
“As the cost of doing business continues to rise, it is more important than ever to support our small businesses.
“Last year local authorities responded enthusiastically to our call. Forty councils agreed to offer free parking and many created bespoke parking offers to help drive footfall on the day.
“This was a testament to the excellent work local authorities can do to support small businesses. We hope to build on the success of last year’s campaign and that even more will look to throw their weight behind the initiative.”
The Forum is also producing a range of practical guides to help small businesses develop their expertise in key areas including e-commerce and social media to capitalise on the opportunities available through Small Business Saturday UK. These will be released in the run up to the event in December.
Prompted by the success in the United States, last year’s inaugural Small Business Saturday UK was extremely well received and over £460 million was spent in small businesses on the day.
Commenting on the Forum’s call to action Michelle Ovens, National Campaign Director for Small Business Saturday, said:
"We are so pleased that the Forum is again working with local authorities to encourage free parking on Small Business Saturday. It is a fantastic, tangible benefit we can give to consumers to encourage them to get out on the day and support their local businesses. We look forward to many more local authorities signing up to support what will be a massive second year for Small Business Saturday in the UK."
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