The importance of supporting small businesses was driven home yesterday, when entrepreneurs across Herefordshire were spotlighted by the national Small Business Saturday roadshow.
With an aim to support small businesses facing persistent economic challenges, ‘The Tour’ visited the city to support and celebrate the area’s local firms.
The team visited several small businesses in the Herefordshire area, learning more about the city’s entrepreneurs and their ambitions for 2024. This included meeting Rachel and Mat Hayes, who run Arbor Architects.
‘The Tour’ – which set off from Scotland earlier this month – is travelling across the UK for a month as part of the official countdown to Small Business Saturday. Taking place on the first Saturday of December each year the campaign celebrates small business success, encouraging consumers to ‘shop local’ and to support businesses in their communities.
Other visits on the day included The DM Lab, run by Chris Tipping, and Löv Leaf run by Steph Sparks. And there was a flurry of activity on social media, where interviews with local leaders including Chris Tipping, Sharon Baker, and Joe Morris were live streamed.
Fox & Mabel co-owner Moira Davidson said: “Putting a spotlight on small businesses is more important than ever in 2023. This year has been hard for many businesses but it’s the small, independents that bring life and colour to our towns and cities! It’s fantastic to get a dose of the energy Matt and Gemma from the Small Business Saturday Tour team bring, and to remind people ‘we’re here! Please use us!”
Once again supported by BT Skills for Tomorrow, ‘The Tour’ is visiting 23 towns and cities across the UK during November. After its stop in Hereford, it will be travelling to Cardiff, Bristol, and Falmouth in the coming days before finishing off in London ahead of Small Business Saturday on 2 December.
‘The Tour’ will make use of electric vehicles to reduce emissions and reflect the sustainable switches many small business owners are making as part of their vital role in the race to net zero. This will include touring with a state-of-the-art eco-friendly electric bike – the Electro Ride X – from innovative London electric motorbike company, Stirling Eco.
Michelle Ovens CBE, Director of Small Business Saturday, said: “We’re so glad that we could visit Hereford and celebrate all the fantastic businesses in the area. I’m so inspired for the year ahead after chatting to so many entrepreneurs, and very happy that we got to shine a light on their successes.
“Small business owners make up such an important part of the UK economy and their local community here in Hereford, so it’s great to celebrate them with the Small Business Saturday campaign.”
Many entrepreneurs from across the region also joined business mentoring and workshops, as part of an online training and skills support programme, which is being offered free by the Small Business Saturday campaign throughout November.
Chris Sims, Managing Director Small and Medium Enterprise at BT, said: “Small Business Saturday is a fantastic initiative that empowers entrepreneurs to tackle the biggest challenges they are facing today. This year small businesses can access specialist mentoring and support, giving them tailored guidance on issues ranging from effective marketing to cyber security.”
“As the tour enters its second decade, we are proud to be partnering with Small Business Saturday on this initiative again through our Skills for Tomorrow program, which has helped
over one million entrepreneurs grow their small businesses with free digital skills training.”
Now in its second decade in the UK, Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, that was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010. The brand remains the principal supporter in the UK.
On Small Business Saturday customers across the UK go out and support all types of small businesses, online, in offices and in stores. Many small businesses take part in the day by hosting events and offering promotions.
To get involved in ‘The Tour’ locally, or book virtual one-to-one mentoring sessions and workshops, small businesses should visit https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/the-tour.