A businessman from Denbighshire has been lobbying Chancellor George Osborne to support small businesses.
Gareth Jones, the boss of St Asaph based Carbon Zero Renewables, was part of a delegation invited to represent the UK’s 5.4 million small businesses at a special event at The Treasury on Friday to mark the UK’s third Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, not-for-profit campaign which places small, independent businesses in communities across the country in the national spotlight.
The aim is to prompt people not only to spend money with small independent businesses in the run-up to Christmas but also to create a mind-set to support them all year round.
Gareth Jones said: “This is a great idea as smaller, independent businesses survive thanks to their local customer base. If they’re not patronised they will disappear.
“I really believe that our customers like seeing a familiar face and having a chat.
“We pride ourselves on giving exceptional customer service, which is what most independent businesses are about. That’s why I believe that Small Business Saturday is such a great idea.
“These aren’t easy times for anyone to be trading in and anything that throws the spotlight onto small and medium firms like ours has got to be worth supporting.
“I think it’s a very positive idea which should certainly raise awareness of the fact that there are many brilliant small businesses out there.
“There are encouraging signs because I think more and more people are doing business locally and we have certainly had a busy year.”
During this year’s campaign, tens of thousands of small businesses around the UK have engaged with the campaign across various social media platforms; 30,000 have ordered marketing packs by post with posters to display on their premises, many more have downloaded them online. The campaign team has also completed a four-week nationwide bus tour to all regions in the UK to promote Small Business Saturday locally.
The Chancellor, George Osborne, said: “Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to champion some of the brilliant entrepreneurs and firms we have in this country and make sure everyone is aware of the powerful role they play.”
It was a sentiment echoed by campaign director Michelle Ovens.
She added: “Small Business Saturday has become an exceptional example of collaboration and co-operation with small businesses teaming up in communities around the UK.
“We aim to showcase the level of diversity, innovation and talent that is active within our small business sector and persuading people to get out and support their friends, neighbours and family members and reinforce local communities and economies.”
The campaign was founded in the USA by American Express, the principal supporter of Small Business Saturday UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small.
The campaign also benefits from the backing of leading business organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses, which has a programme of supportive events planned across the country, as well as other corporate supporters including Vistaprint, TalkTalk Business, Indeed, Sage, PRS for Music and PPL.
More information on Small Business Saturday can be found on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page (www.facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturdayuk) Twitter page (@SmallBizSatUk) and website (www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com).