Nottingham will once again be celebrating Small Business Saturday, a national initiative held each year to encourage people to support local independently owned businesses.

This year Small Business Saturday takes place on Saturday 1 December 2018 and is being supported by Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID); Nottingham City Council; The Creative Quarter and Flying Horse Walk, with lots of activities taking place across the city.

Nottingham BID is giving away maps which show the independents in the city centre and limited edition It’s in Nottingham tote bags to participating businesses for them to give to their customers. They are also organising a competition with the opportunity for one lucky person to win £200 to spend at independent businesses of their choice in the city centre.

Independent businesses are also being encouraged to organise their own events and provide special offers with everything being promoted on the It’s in Nottingham website and social media channels.

Flying Horse Walk, the city centre shopping arcade that links South Parade to St Peter’s Gate and where most of the businesses are independents, is also running a competition to win £100 worth of Flying Horse Walk shopping vouchers.  To be in with a chance of winning, people need to take a photo whilst shopping in the arcade and post it to their social media, tagging in Flying Horse Walk and the business whilst also using the hashtag #SmallBizSat or #IndependentNottm .

The Creative Quarter is organising a Christmas market at Sneinton Market with local craft makers and food stalls, and some of the businesses are doing their own activities (do you know what?).

The key messages from all those involved is support all of our great independents – shops, cafes, bars and restaurants – not only because they offer something different but also because a high percentage of money spent in them stays in the local economy.

Geoff Williams, a director of Nottingham BID said: “It is great that Small Business Saturday puts all of our great locally owned independent businesses firmly in the spotlight but it is important to support them all year round as they help to make our city so special.  This is why we organise the annual It’s in Nottingham independent initiative which includes a competition to find Nottingham’s Best Independent Business of the year.  The winner of the competition this year was tapas restaurant Bar Iberico on Carlton Street, with wine and spirits merchants Weavers, on Castle Gate, winning the first ever Special Achievement Award.

“Initiatives like Small Business Saturday are a great way of drawing attention to independent businesses and encouraging people to support them so are to be welcomed,” said Dan Lindsay, joint owner of Bar Iberico.  “For us winning the It’s in Nottingham competition in the Summer was highly effective in promoting the restaurant.”

Alan Trease, managing director of Weavers of Nottingham said: “As Nottingham’s oldest family business, still occupying the same premises on Castle Gate as when the company was founded in 1897, we were delighted to win the inaugural Special Achievement Award in the It’s in Nottingham Independents competition in the Summer.  It is important to highlight local independent businesses so, to celebrate Small Business Saturday, we have organised special tastings of our Castle Gate No1 and Castle Gate no 17 gins that we have created, at our shop at 1, Castle Gate between 10am and 5pm.”

Councillor Leslie Ayoola, Assistant Portfolio Holder for Small Businesses, Social Enterprise, Digital Inclusion & IT at Nottingham City Council said; “Small businesses in Nottingham play such an important role in our diverse communities. They provide people with choice and good value within easy reach of their homes but we can’t forget that small community shops also provide social opportunities for people who live alone or who are new to Nottingham.

“Like many UK cities, Nottingham is seeing changes in the way people shop and use city centres. It is often the locally run small and micro businesses which are agile enough to adapt to these conditions that can re-invent themselves and continue to provide the variety and experiences which shoppers and visitors to the city centre really enjoy.”

“It’s Small Business Saturday every Saturday in the Creative Quarter, always the go to place for the best that Nottingham’s independents have to offer,“ said Stephen Barker, chief executive of the Creative Quarter.  “At Sneinton Market Avenues this year, there will be craft market stalls filled with wonderful trinkets made by local Nottingham folk and the Shop will be brimming with fantastic handmade goodies that have all been locally sourced. There will also be entertainments and lots of tasty food and drink. Come on down.”

Anyone talking about Small Business Saturday on social media is encouraged to use the following hashtags: #shopnotts #independentnottm and the national campaign tags @SmallBizSatUK and #SmallBizSatUK