Small businesses in Wirral enjoyed a boost in the national spotlight when the Small Business Saturday roadshow pulled into town to support and celebrate the area’s small businesses as they face mounting challenges over the winter.
Marking ten years of the iconic campaign in the UK, Small Business Saturday’s Tour arrived in Wirral and visited local business owners and community leaders, live-streaming their stories on social media.
This included a visit to The Chocolate Cellar where the team took part in a chocolate making class, a trip to Wirral Unplugged – a community interest group focused on helping children unplug and connect. A Small Business Happy Hour on Instagram also took place each day with giveaways from The Chocolate Cellar.
Supported by BT Skills for Tomorrow, ‘The Tour’ is visiting 23 towns and cities across the UK during November, as part of the official countdown to Small Business Saturday on 3 December. It will now be traveling to Manchester and Helmsley in the coming days.
Bala Croman, owner of The Chocolate Cellar in New Ferry, said, “It was an absolute delight and honour to have the Small Business Saturday tour visit us. The campaign does an immense amount of work to raise the profile of small businesses. This is a big boost, especially in the current climate”.
Many entrepreneurs from across the region also took part in business mentoring and workshops, as part of a programme of online training and skills support that is being offered free by the campaign, on a range of small business topics.
Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which celebrates small businesses and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and to support businesses in their communities. Backed by founder and principal supporter American Express, the campaign has engaged millions and seen billions spent with small businesses on Small Business Saturday in the time it has been running in the UK.
With sustainability and energy saving high on the agenda for small firms, ‘The Tour’ features a fleet of environmentally friendly vehicles – including an electric van and ‘delivery style’ push bike – that reflect the sustainable switches many small business owners are making, whilst also highlighting the vital role small firms play in the race to net zero.
“We were so delighted to visit Wirral and celebrate all the fantastic businesses in the area,” said Michelle Ovens CBE, Director of Small Business Saturday. “Small businesses are in the midst of an incredibly tough period so it was great to highlight the amazing contribution they make to the local area.”
Chris Sims, Managing Director Small and Medium Enterprise at BT, said, “The Tour is a fantastic initiative to reach out and support small businesses with the skills they need to scale up in key areas such as digital marketing and sustainability. We are delighted to be supporting it again this year, bringing insight from both our BT Skills for Tomorrow offering, as well as our new Digital Marketing Hub. In these challenging times for businesses we hope this provides a catalyst for growth in the lead up to the festive period, which is typically a very important time of year for these types of enterprise.”
Small businesses across Wirral and the UK can get involved in The Tour online for the rest of November, by booking a place for free workshops or one-to-one mentoring sessions via the ‘My Business Section’ on the Small Business Saturday website
Image: Jessica Basnett of Pausha, Woodside Village, Birkenhead