Show your support for local businesses at shopping event
Christmas shoppers across Waveney are being encouraged to 'shop local' next weekend as part of Small Business Saturday.
Shoppers are being urged to visit small establishments and services as part of the initiative on December 6, which is a nationwide scheme focusing on raising awareness of small independent businesses.
Many local businesses in the Beccles area will be taking part in the event, supported by Waveney District Council and Waveney Business Forum, and will be offering special one-off promotions, incentives and in-store events as part of the scheme.
Councillor Colin Law, leader of Waveney District Council, said: “We have an incredible range of small independent businesses within Waveney and it is essential that people are made aware of their existence and their importance to the local economy.
“Small Business Saturday aims to shine a light on the variety of shops and services in the area and inspire people to visit them, not just once on December 6 but repeatedly throughout the year.”
Coriander Hats, an independent business based in New Market, Beccles, is one of the shops taking part. The business opened in 2009 and specialises in special occasion hats, bags and accessories, ideal for Christmas parties and gifts. During Small Business Saturday, Coriander Hats will be offering 20pc off everything in store.
Lesley Dumphie, founder and manager of Coriander Hats, said: “We are very excited to be part of Small Business Saturday. It is so important that local people support the small and independent retailers in the town both on the day, and all year round. We are looking forward to welcoming old customers and meeting new ones.”
In the Waveney area, 96.5pc of businesses employ fewer than fifty people and are therefore classed as small businesses. These companies are essential for the local economy however they need regular support from customers in order to remain operational.
To coincide with Small Business Saturday, Waveney Business Forum is holding a Best Dressed Window competition across Beccles, Bungay, Lowestoft, Kirkley, Southwold and Halesworth town centres. The competition will be judged by forum members next week and the winner will be announced on Small Business Saturday by Kevin Vail, chairman of Waveney Business Forum.
He said: “We are delighted to be part of Small Business Saturday which encourages consumers to shop local and support their local communities and gives small businesses a great opportunity for visibility and promotion. Results from the Town Centre Study showed that consumers like the independent shops in each market town and so people now have the opportunity to support these businesses in the run up to Christmas. Let’s make it a successful season for the retailers in our wonderful market towns.”
The winner of the competition will receive a plaque and free publicity. Shop owners wishing to enter the competition should ensure their shop window is ready for judging by Monday.
To further attract people into the town centres to make the most of the array of local shops, free parking is available during all late-night shopping events and Christmas lights switch-ons. Free parking will be available in Beccles tonight from 4pm and in Halesworth and Bungay tomorrow from 4pm.
Anyone wishing to get involved with in Small Business Saturday can visit www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com for more details.