Small Business Saturday, the nationwide campaign to support, inspire and promote the UK’s 5.5 million small businesses, will once again be visiting Brighton as one of 29 destinations on its annual UK bus tour.
The tour began in Dundee on 23 October this year and is travelling up and down the country stopping off at locations including Lisburn, Cardiff, Lowestoft and the Isle of Wight before finishing in Brighton on 24 November where over 95% of businesses in the city are classed as SMEs. The bus will park up on Ship Street between 10am-2pm.
Small Business Saturday is now in its 5th year and to mark the occasion has launched a new mentoring programme designed to offer direct one-to-one peer support to all small businesses.
New to the bus this year, is the Small Business Saturday’s ‘Blue Sofa’, where interviews and Q&A sessions with local small businesses and experts will be streamed via Facebook Live. There will also be mentoring sessions offering free support and advice as well as inspirational workshops covering accountancy, social media and online marketing.
Team members from the council’s tourism unit, VisitBrighton, will also be on hand with information about the partnership scheme it runs to support local businesses. VisitBrighton works with over 500 SMEs and supports the local economy year-round by promoting the whole city as a leisure and conference destination.
BHCC leader Warren Morgan, who will be visiting the bus, says: “The Small Business Saturday initiative has a far bigger focus these days, having grown from a one day shopping event into a series of mentoring and support programmes covering all aspects of running a small enterprise.
“Our city is home to a large number of independent businesses so I’m very pleased to be able to welcome the tour bus and help highlight the support on offer for all entrepreneurs that play a role in supporting our local economy.”
Last year saw £717m spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday, up 15% on the previous year. The campaign trended at number one in the UK on Twitter on the day with more than 130,000 campaign-related tweets being sent, reaching over 140 million people globally. Over 80% of local councils supported the campaign, meaning wherever you were on Small Business Saturday, there was something going on nearby.
Campaign Director Michelle Ovens, says: “We have run the phenomenally popular Small Business Saturday bus tour since the campaign launched in the UK in 2013. Now it has grown to five weeks, we can reach a huge number of the UK’s small businesses to deliver mentoring, inspiration and much needed optimism to small businesses across the nation.
“Small Business Saturday and the bus tour are open to everyone. Businesses on the high street or online, trading with other businesses or selling direct to consumers. It is open to every individual who can take this moment to support their local businesses, and it is open to public sector to both support and reflect on the huge value small businesses generate.”
Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010, which remains the principal 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 and Enterprise Nation.
Small Business Saturday takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses. In 2017 Small Business Saturday is on Saturday, December 2nd.