Small day was big success

Thinking BIG: Traders in South Shore put on the style to entertain customers on Small Business Saturday
Thinking BIG: Traders in South Shore put on the style to entertain customers on Small Business Saturday

Independent traders on the Fylde coast showed off what they have to offer during Small Business Saturday.

And they say the event, an American idea imported here in 2013 to support small businesses nationwide, has been a success in the vital run-up to Christmas.

Events were held across the Fylde coast where councils offered free parking to encourage more shoppers to come into towns and support their local shops and firms.

In Blackpool, Mayor Coun Val Haynes was joined by Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden in South Shore to see what the local shops had to offer and to enjoy the entertainment.

He also met Susanne Johnson who has a wool shop in Bond Street and is chairman of the local Federation of Small Businesses.

Mr Marsden said: “I first met Susanne at the inaugural Small Business Saturday”last year.

“Like many of the small business owners I meet across Blackpool, she is passionate about making Blackpool a better place and I know she has been working tirelessly to make this happen.

“The publication of the new South Shore shops and business map was a great idea and will show visitors the wide range of niche businesses we have on offer in the area.

“Over the years, Waterloo Road and Bond Street have had a great business history. While it has been tough at times in recent years, I’m confident that, with committed small business owners, we can turn the corner and make South Shore a great place to shop once again.

“It’s only in its second year but once again Small Business Saturday was a massive success.

“There are many examples of fantastic small businesses all across Blackpool, and this is a special day in highlighting the important role they all play in supporting our local economy.”

Blackpool North MP Paul Maynard said: “This is one import from America that I fully subscribe to.

“Small Business Saturday is a great way for us all to support the shops, businesses, sole traders and all unsung business heroes who provide the vitality and vibrancy of our high streets.”

A Fylde Council spokesman said: “We had free parking on Small Business Saturday and again on the Sunday and we will be repeating that free parking again this coming weekend and on the final weekend before Christmas.”

A Wyre Council spokesman said: “The council had free parking at all our car parks and there were around 60 special offers from local businesses across the borough to entice shoppers on the day.

“We provided free posters to those involved backed up by a social media campaign in the run up to the day, linked to the national campaign.”