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Small Business Saturday puts spotlight on Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough shoppers are urged to buy local this Saturday as part of an annual event to promote independent businesses.

Small Business Saturday 2019 takes place this year on Saturday, December 7.

Last month the Small Business Saturday campaign bus parked up in Middlesbrough to gather local business and community leaders to celebrate small businesses and their communities.

The bus featured a special 'Blue Sofa' interview series, where small businesses, entrepreneurs and leading local figures shared stories about their business or local area to a Facebook live audience.

Small businesses from the local area, including Rountons Coffee Roasters, pie-making business Pie Jackers, ethical and sustainable sportswear designer and manufacturer GRN Bikewear along with 1600 Systems, Bentleys Coffee Shop, Business Doctors, Mabo Media and Publicity Seekers were all in attendance.

A grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010. It is now in its seventh year in the UK, with the aim of supporting and promoting the UK's 5.8m small businesses.

Small Business Saturday last year saw an estimated £812m spent on the day with small businesses across the UK.

American Express remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its ongoing commitment to encourage consumers to shop small. Small Business Saturday also benefits from the backing of leading business organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses, Indeed and Dell. The campaign is also supported by Amazon, printed.com, Square and Xero.

Local business support agency Enterprise Made Simple were also on hand to offer guidance and information.

Director of Small Business Saturday, Michelle Ovens MBE said: "Each year this campaign has grown in support from government, business and communities alike, and so we can't wait for December to come round and put small businesses in the spotlight once again.

"Small businesses are the heart of their communities with 5.6 million keeping their local economies moving, providing jobs, training and unique services.

"But this is not just a campaign for one day, it is a year-round celebration of small businesses and we want to ensure the long-term success of those high street heroes and digital stars, with a campaign that showcases their contribution for months before and after Small Business Saturday."

A spokesman for Middlesbrough Council said: "We're delighted to welcome the Small Business Saturday bus to Middlesbrough. It's a fantastic campaign that we would encourage all local businesses to get involved with. We at Middlesbrough Council are passionate about supporting small firms and we already work with and support many small businesses here, and in the wider area.

"This is a great opportunity to put small businesses in the spotlight. They are already doing amazing things for our community and deserve greater recognition for their role in the local community."

If your business would like a ‘small business Saturday' #FindYourLocalHero poster to display get in touch with Middlesbrough Council via email to invest@middlesbrough.gov.uk.