Call to support your local business this Saturday

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THE spotlight will be on small businesses this Saturday as an American-born campaign to back them is launched in the UK for the first time.

Small Business Saturday, which was founded in the United States in 2010, will highlight small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses.

Forty local councils have answered the call by the Forum of Private Business to offer free parking on Saturday to help support small businesses.

In this region, the councils with free parking offers planned for Saturday include: Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council; Chesterfield Borough Council; East Riding of Yorkshire Council; Hull City Council; Selby District Council and North Lincolnshire Council. Phil Orford MBE, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business, 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 December 7 and believe the free parking offers will encourage people to think small and shop locally.”

Local businesswoman Tina Boden will travel around Yorkshire and Humber again this weekend promoting all things local and independent as part of Small Business Saturday UK.

Back in July, Ms Boden completed the Local Indie Explorer Challenge personally visiting more than 190 independent businesses across the Yorkshire and Humber region in 36 hours, and securing hundreds of signatures from people pledging to spend 25 per cent or more of their shopping budget with independent businesses.

In the run-up to Christmas, she will be visiting York, Boroughbridge, Ilkley, and Helmsley to measure the impact of the pledges in those areas.

She said: “It’s really important to promote the benefits of small business, and show how collaborative working can benefit not just the businesses but whole communities.”

Small businesses are planning special deals for customers and events on Saturday.

Meanwhile, small business organisations, local authorities, community groups, big businesses, banks, accountants and others are involved too. They are promoting the day locally to their members, customers and supply chains.