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Small Business Saturday

December 8, 2014

So, Saturday 6th December was designated Small Business Saturday, an idea imported from America to encourage people to forsake the big out of out town shopping centres and high street chains and support local, independent retailers. Now, we’ve no problem with this – but two things do make me feel slightly uneasy about it all. The first was the subliminal “support” from American Express and the second was that that amidst all of the publicity generated by this day, as brilliant as it was, there was very little that I saw, that highlighted that independents are are around EVERY DAY of the year.

Hopefully, Saturday will have introduced people to businesses that they might not have been aware of. The day might have got people realising that independent does not necessarily equal expensive. (Although please remember that if you do pay a little bit over the odds for something that is unique, the person selling it to you, is probably a one man/woman band, and will be trying, against the odds – out of town shopping centres, high street chains etc – to make a profit (or more often, break even), whilst still paying rising rents and crippling business rates). Small Business Saturday will hopefully have meant an injection of both income and new customers for independents, but none of this will mean anything to these businesses, if it was a one-off.

In no way are we suggesting that everyone should only ever shop from independents. That would be not only impossible, but a ridiculous suggestion too. In this day & age, when often convenience is king, you can’t avoid a supermarket shop. (Although, and I’m aware they are all probably as bad as each other, the one I will NOT step foot inside of, is T*sco. No way. Ever). What we are suggesting, though, is that we look around and see what’s on our doorstep. On our high street that we can get to on foot, so parking isn’t an issue. And if you don’t do it already, we bet that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can find, just around the corner. This was what we found, on Small Business Saturday, just in West Didsbury…

So, yes Small Business Saturday – a great initiative, but with just a little more effort, we could turn it into Small Business Everyday and really help to ensure our small high streets thrive. (And, don’t forget it’s not just about shopping local – if you eat & drink local, when you can, that’s also supporting our independents).



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