City signs up to UK’s first ‘shop local’ day

Lancaster shoppers are being urged to buy from independent shops.
Lancaster shoppers are being urged to buy from independent shops.

Shoppers in Lancaster will be asked to spend their money in the city’s independent retailers as part of a UK first.

The country’s inaugural Small Business Saturday will take place in towns and cities on December 7 - an important date in the crucial build-up to Christmas.

In America, a similar day is an established commercial holiday and generated $5.5 billion in sales last year.

The campaign here aims to celebrate local shops and encourage people to use them.

Lancaster City Council has thrown its weight behind the idea and urged residents to do the majority of their spending with the so-called ‘independents’.

Coun Janice Hanson, the council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “We’re delighted to support Small Business Saturday.

“We’re fortunate to have some great independent local traders in the district, so please show your support for these vital shops and services.

“They are the lifeblood of our economy and many of their products and services are unique and not available anywhere else.”

Retailers in the wider district, such as Morecambe and Carnforth, can also take advantage of the free business promotion which the council is offering as part of the day.

Small businesses are asked to register their interest with the authority to be included in a listing at www.lancaster.gov.uk/sbs, including links to websites and Facebook and Twitter pages.

Business owners can also get their hands on promotional materials including printable posters and leaflets to display or give to customers.

And the council will also carry participating businesses’ names on its social media pages to spread the word even further.

Small Business Saturday is still a grassroots campaign in the UK.

But retailers all over the country are set to take part - with many planning to run special deals for customers, events and joint marketing.

Prime Minister David Cameron has backed the initiative.

A Government spokesman said: “Small Business Saturday is important because small businesses matter and we want to celebrate them.

“It’s just one day, but we all rely on small businesses every day. There are 4.8 million small businesses in the UK and over 14 million people work in them.

“If Small Business Saturday raises the profile of small businesses, it will have done its job.”

Visit www.lancaster.gov.uk/sbs to sign up and search Small Business Saturday UK on Facebook to find out more.