Driving to London yesterday and we deliberately avoided the Purley way and instead drove through Purley and its amazing array of independent shops, beauty places, bars and pubs.
A few yards up the road, we got to South Croydon and its marvellous Restaurant Quarter.
These independent small businesses and the people who run them truly are the backbone of our local economy.
Who else out there can give you a very personal customer service, great choice and contribute to the unique character of the area, while keeping money in the local economy?
All of us, small business owners work incredibly hard, often rising at some early hour to go the wholesalers, bake the bread, open up the coffee shop or do our 90 minutes of marketing that will keep our businesses going.
And yet, as a nation, we do not celebrate nearly enough what small businesses do.
Did you know that small businesses provide almost two thirds of the local private sector employment?
Thanks to Peter Bagatti's 20+ years of hard work, 20+ families can pay their mortgage or rent at the end of each month.
Thanks to James McCarthy's dedication and incredibly long hours, 20+ other local families have got an income coming in every month.
The list is endless. They are all heroes of our times and we need to celebrate them!
In the US, Small Business Saturday was established in 2010 and takes place on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving celebrations, one of the busiest shopping days of the year. It encourages people to shop at small independent businesses in their local area and celebrate small businessesâ contribution to their local economies.
Last year's Small Business Saturday helped drive sales of £3.5bn in small independent shops and it has led to an increase in longer-term custom.
On its own, a UK Small Business Saturday will not transform the fortunes of our small businesses but, as the US experience demonstrates, it gives us all an special opportunity to do our bit to ensure those who take risks, set up shop and provide jobs in our local communities get more of the recognition they so deserve, by making a point of spending our money in their businesses on the big day.
So put the date in your diary and make sure you take the time to celebrate what our small businesses have to offer and show your appreciation on Saturday 7th December by using at least one more small business in Croydon than you otherwise would ... and then keep it going.
Until next time... Happy shopping!
Maud Local marketing extraordinaire @ thebestof Croydon
Member since: 10th July 2012
Hi - me and my gang champion and promote the best businesses in the Croydon and Bromley Boroughs. If you are a local business owner, then we'd love to help you grow your profile, profits and get more business.