In the run up to Small Business Saturday itself on the 2nd December, the bus will be touring 25 selected towns and cities across the country. On Tuesday 14th November, the bus will be stopping in Stevenage Town Centre, from 10am until 2pm, and the SBS team will be collaborating with key regional organisations such as Stevenage Borough Council, The Business & Technology Centre (btc), Wenta, FSB, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Herts Growth Hub, Herts LEP and many more.
Available on the day will be free business advice and mentoring, an exhibition of local small businesses from Stevenage, inspiring workshops on subjects such as accounting and social media plus plenty of free giveaways and information on the local business support.
Commenting on the bus tour, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, Cllr Sharon Taylor, said: “This is a wonderful chance to celebrate the small businesses in our town, encourage people to shop locally and use them, and to highlight the help and support on offer for new ones. From incubating new retailers at the Indoor Market to offering office space, training and support at the btc, Stevenage is a town which really gets behind our entrepreneurs. We’ll be offering help and advice on the day and are pleased to have the bus stopping off here.”
Jennifer Condon, Marketing Manager of The Business & Technology Centre (btc) said: “We are delighted that Stevenage has been recognised as a town that is dedicated to supporting local small businesses. Small Business Saturday is a fantastic campaign that encourages residents to shop local and use local businesses, of which we have many here in Stevenage. A number of our clients, local small businesses, will be showcasing their products and services too, bringing the btc to the heart of Stevenage Town Centre!”
Pam Charman, Chairman of the Hertfordshire branch of The Federation of Small Businesses said: “It’s great the Small Business Saturday Bus is coming to Stevenage. Small firms make a big difference to their community and the life of the nation, with many going above and beyond to help their small business neighbours and local start-ups. FSB backs the campaign at branch, region, nation and UK level as a way to say a simple 'thank you' to small business owners in every corner of the country.”
In 2016, customers across the UK spent £717m with small businesses on Small Business Saturday, an increase of 15% on 2015. Over 140,000 tweets were sent on the day reaching 130 million people, trending on Twitter in the UK and globally. Over 80% of local authorities across the UK actively supported the campaign, including Stevenage Borough Council through a variety of initiatives such as the Speed Mentoring event that took place at The Business & Technology Centre.
Also supporting the event will be Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. Yolanda Rugg, CEO of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, advised: "We strongly encourage local residents to put the date in their diary now, to come out and support Small Business Saturday in Stevenage and sustain an important local community initiative at the very heart of Stevenage. We are proud to support this campaign."
Further details of the planned activities for the 14th November are to be confirmed, watch this space for further updates! To find out more about how you and your business can get involved in Small Business Saturday, Stevenage contact Mena Caldbeck at Stevenage Borough Council on firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out about other Small Business Saturday events happening in and around Stevenage, visit the ‘My Small Business Finder’ on the website (www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com).