Residents and visitors to the East Riding are being urged to support small businesses on Saturday, 7 December and beyond by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
For the first time in the UK, a day to support, celebrate and champion the UK’s five million small businesses will be held.
Small Business Saturday is particularly relevant to the East Riding given the area’s number of market towns with high proportions of small and independent traders as well as a vibrant market scene.
The council is a keen advocate of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with more than £311 million per annum spent with the business community, 66 per cent of this is spent with organisations in Yorkshire which compares favourably with other local authorities where the average local spend is just 30 per cent.
Practical support is also provided to SMEs by the council’s business services, through partnership work with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Chambers of Trade and through the council supported renaissance partnerships. The authority also supports various national initiatives designed to promote local trade.
Also, this December, the council will be giving its customary Christmas present to motorists by suspending parking charges during the three weekends leading up to Christmas to help money go a little further when preparing for Christmas in the East Riding.
Pay and display machines in the council’s car-parks and on-street parking locations will be clearly marked to let shoppers know there is no charge on Saturday 7, 14 and 21 and Sunday 8, 15 and 22 December.
Normal parking rules still apply such as those relating to disabled parking bays and maximum stays.
All council car parks will be free from 8am on Saturday until 8am on Monday.
Councillor Jane Evison, cabinet portfolio holder for economy, investment and inequalities at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “I really welcome the council’s support of Small Business Saturday and would urge our residents and visitors to the area to get out and about and see what local traders and markets have to offer.
“Spending locally not only supports local jobs it also helps boost economic growth.
“As well as providing practical advice and guidance to SMEs, the council is also pleased to be running its popular free Christmas parking scheme for a fifth year, which has a real and tangible benefit for local businesses and shoppers alike.”
The FSB’s East Yorkshire chairman, Mike Bisby, commented: “The council’s sacrifice will provide a boost to businesses and help shoppers get access to smaller outlets which don’t have the facility of massive free car parks which the big supermarkets enjoy. We would urge all Christmas shoppers to make use of Small Business Saturday to park free in the towns and take a look at what the small traders have to offer. We commend the council’s foresight for making this possible.”
For further information about how to get involved in Small Business Saturday, visit www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com or follow @smallbizsatuk on Twitter.