Saturday 2 December sees the return of a national campaign which aims to encourage people to support independent and locally owned businesses.

Small Business Saturday is an annual campaign which is supported again this year by Nottingham City Council and partners, the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID), Creative Quarter and Visit Nottinghamshire and raises awareness of the benefits of using smaller, local shops, cafes and restaurants. The campaign focuses on the benefits shopping locally, for shoppers, traders, communities and the local economy.

Alongside the Old Market Square which has been transformed into the Winter Wonderland again this year, Small Business Saturday will add even more vibrancy to city centre streets. Shoppers will be able to enjoy free entertainment from an on-street brass band organised by the Nottingham BID and stilt walkers who will be handing out promotional material. Shoppers in Nottingham city centre should also be on the lookout for retailers and venues displaying the Small Business Saturday poster or the Nottingham Independents logo to be sure that they are supporting independently owned businesses and share their love of independent business via social media with selfies and by using the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK.

Nottingham’s neighbourhoods also support a wide range of important and convenient locally owned businesses so the message from Nottingham City Council and partners is that whatever you are looking for, whether it’s good value on your doorstep or unique and interesting products, bars and restaurants, independently owned shops not only provide choice, but ensure that a high percentage of the money spent in them returns back into the city.

Councillor Leslie Ayoola, Executive Assistant for Business and Employment at Nottingham City Council said; “Nottingham is a city with a growing economy which supports a wide range of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, from large brands to thriving small and micro businesses and we are proud of the variety which shoppers and visitors to the city centre are able to enjoy.

“It’s important that as we get ready to celebrate Small Business Saturday and traders prepare for the busy festive period, we recognise the contribution which independent traders make to the city’s economy. It’s also vital that we don’t lose sight of the part played by small locally owned businesses who provide choice and good value and who help nurture community spirit and create employment in Nottingham’s diverse communities.”

To tie in with Small Business Saturday, city centre shopping arcade Flying Horse Walk, which is home to a selection of independent businesses, is launching its festive event, the 12 Days of Christmas treasure trail, on the Saturday. The trail is free to enter and entry forms can be picked up from The Cheese Shop in the arcade – with great shopping prizes to be won.

Geoff Williams, director of Nottingham BID said: “Independent locally owned businesses help to differentiate the city from other places and we are so fortunate that Nottingham has so many in the city centre.  It is therefore important to highlight them and encourage people to support them.”

The Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID), who provides ongoing support to independent businesses in the city centre through the It’s in Nottingham independent initiative, helps and promotes businesses including running a competition to find Nottingham’s independent business of the year.

Lucy Giacone and Michelangelo Franco, joint owners of The Specialty Coffee Shop, on Friar Lane who won Nottingham BID’s Independent of the Year, said: “Growing up in Italy, family run independent businesses had a massive influence on us and how we run our own business today.  It is really special for us to be part of the great Independent community in Nottingham and winning the best independent business award this year was a great honour.”

Brendan Moffett, Chief Executive, Marketing NG said: “It’s our role to raise the profile and reputation of the city and the quality of our independent shopping is a real strength. Particularly at this time of year, visitors love to get a taste of what is ‘local’ and this is a fantastic initiative.”

Stephen Barker Chief Executive, Creative Quarter said: “The Creative Quarter thrives on the individuality and positive energy that the large number of independent businesses bring to the area.  It offers the opportunity for businesses to start up and grow and for visitors to discover something new and different from the mainstream.  Nowhere is this becoming more evident than at Sneinton Market Avenues, which is fast becoming the new city centre destination to find exciting small businesses offering unique gifts, great coffee and good beer.”

Further information about the national campaign can also be found on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page and Twitter @SmallBizSatUk .