Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year and I’ll be supporting several lovely local businesses this Saturday.

Local small businesses employ thousands of local people. A pound spent at a local business is far more likely to remain circulating in our local economy than a pound spent with a larger national business or a faraway business operating over the internet.

Small businesses that operate from the high street are really important and need our support. High street shops with their high business rates and fixed costs often find it difficult to compete with internet providers so have already adapted enormously.

City centre businesses are increasingly offering more niche products or experiences and services you can’t really get from the internet. Yes, that means quite a lot of coffee and charity shops – all doing good service. But there are lots of novel and innovation businesses springing up too. Two I’ve recently visited were Axe Junkies in The Arches where you can throw axes on to a board in safe environment, and also The Dice Box on the Shambles which is essentially a café where you can play board games either with friends or just rock up to play with ‘friends you’ve not yet met’. Maybe The Dice Box is of use for parents and grandparents looking for something to occupy the kids in a holiday?

And whilst talking about experiences, please permit me a shameless plug for the Mayor’s Charity Carol Concert performed by The Elgar Chorale on Wednesday 13 December. An amazing choir, Christmas carols, a glass of wine, mince pies, a little poetry and audience participation all in aid of Age UK. Tickets from Tourist Information or book tickets online at – search for Mayor’s Christmas charity concert.


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