A Cabinet Member at St Edmundsbury Borough Council is calling for residents to back small businesses by shopping locally this weekend.
Cllr Alaric Pugh, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, has made the plea ahead of Small Business Saturday this weekend (6).
“None of us like to see an empty shop – and although St Edmundsbury works hard to support trade, it is down to each of us individually to support our retailers and other local businesses,” said Cllr Pugh.
“Small businesses – whether it is an independent shop, or the one man or woman enterprises that start out from a kitchen table – are the foundation of our economy and they need our support to thrive. I hope everyone will make an extra effort and join me in supporting our small businesses this Saturday.”
St Edmundsbury and its West Suffolk partner Forest Heath District Council already run a number of initiatives to support small business, not least via a grants scheme available to new enterprises or those within their first year, which is administered via the Menta enterprise agency.
The borough council also runs free parking initiatives in Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill, both of which are being extended in the run up to Christmas, in an effort to support retailers at their busiest time of the year.
At the weekend, the borough council held its biggest trade event of the year, the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre. The four day event attracts more than 100,000 visitors to the town, boosting trade in town shops, cafes, restaurants, guest houses, and other small to medium sized businesses.
A popular 10 day West Suffolk business festival, organised by St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath, is also held each year. The festival features an array of events, advice and networking opportunities all with the aim of promoting opportunities for business growth across the two districts.