Archive print this page

Celebrating small businesses in a big way

It’s Small Business Saturday tomorrow – the national campaign to encourage shoppers to buy local, taking place on the first Saturday in December, when Christmas shopping is high on people’s agenda.

Adopted from the USA two years ago, it’s an opportunity to celebrate and support the many great local independent shops and businesses we have in Brighton and Hove – small businesses that help to give our city its larger-than-life character.

One of the really distinctive things about our city is the number and quality of independent businesses – especially in retail and hospitality – and I hope as many of them as possible benefit from the early festive spirit of SBS.

Shoppers too can benefit: Goodmoney for instance – the local voucher scheme which keeps money in the city – is offering a 10% discount on many of its participating businesses for SBS. You’ll find more information about this discount in leaflets on a number of our buses. We are also encouraging families to go out shopping this weekend with our Kids go Free offer.

We may be one of the biggest businesses in town, but I am increasingly involved with smaller businesses, through the Chamber of Commerce and in my new role chairing Hove Business Association.

As we explore the potential for a South Coast Powerhouse emerging in the form of a Greater Brighton. Small businesses will play a crucial part of this, helping to drive economic growth.

Brighton and Hove has more micro businesses (less than 10 employees) than the national and regional average with 11,405 micro enterprises from a total of 12,650*. We also have a higher self-employment rate (14% compared to a national average of 10.1%)* and one of the highest business start-up rates and SME densities in the country. In a nutshell, the city punches above its weight.

As Warren Morgan Leader of the Brighton & Hove City Council said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, and a big part of what makes our city so unique and so appealing as a place to shop and work”.

Let’s hope we kick off the festive season with a real boost for our local independents!

*Source: Nomis, 4 December 2015

You can follow me on twitter @citybusnews