Shoppers are being encouraged to love the local and independent businesses in Basingstoke this weekend to celebrate the UK-wide initiative, Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday, which takes place on Saturday 1 December, is a national celebration of the smaller and independent shops which line the UK’s high streets. Basingstoke is home to a diverse selection of shops for different and unique Christmas gifts and restaurants to take a break from the shopping frenzy.
Small Business Saturday is largely viewed as the antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is dominated by the big brands. An estimated £748 million was spent on Small Business Saturday last year, making it the most successful year so far. It also has the support of growing number of local authorities, with 87% pledging their support last year.
However, Small Business Saturday still lags behind Black Friday, as we reportedly spent £7 billion during last week’s buying blitz. Basingstoke Together, the public face of the Basingstoke BID, wants more people to embrace the town centre independents, particularly in the Top of Town, to recognise its potential as a vibrant shopping hub.
To celebrate Small Business Saturday, Basingstoke Together have created a series of short videos to put small businesses in the town under the spotlight to showcase their products and services. Independent businesses in Basingstoke have also been provided with printed hessian bags reading ‘I supported a small business in Basingstoke’ to gift to customers free of charge with any purchase.
Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “We’re lucky to have some fantastic national chains in Basingstoke, particularly in Festival Place and The Malls. But, a stone’s throw away at the top of town is the home to shops and businesses which you simply won’t find anywhere else. We hope that people in Basingstoke will support our independent and small businesses in the town centre as they do their Christmas shopping this weekend as well as in the future.
“There has been a lot of coverage in the media this year about the struggling UK high street. However, Basingstoke is bucking the trend. We have welcomed eight new businesses to the town in the last couple of months; the majority of which have been small and independent.”
Basingstoke Together aims to help the town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses. It will soon be launching a campaign to develop a regional community of Basingstoke’s small businesses.
As part of the campaign, independents in Basingstoke can display posters and window stickers, share their stories on social media using the #BIndependent hashtag. Basingstoke Together also offers free training with small businesses in Basingstoke on how to support growth in the town.
Joanne Goodman, Director of independent business Wax Works on Church Street, said: “It is a very difficult time to be a small business on the High Street. We are lucky to have such a diverse range of small and independent businesses in Basingstoke so a campaign to draw attention to them is a fantastic idea. It is also great to be able to reward people who choose to support small and independent businesses. When you support small businesses, you support not only someone’s dream but the backbone of the town’s future. ”