MP supports Small Business Saturday in Petworth
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert supported the first UK 'Small Business Saturday' with a visit to Petworth at the weekend.
Mr Herbert visited Rugs of Petworth on Saturday (7 December) to meet owner Alex Rees, who is the recently elected chairman of the Petworth Business Association, a group which promotes the town and its specialist and independent shops.
The Petworth Business Association got behind the Small Business Saturday initiative which encourages shoppers to buy locally and from smaller retailers. This was the first time that the campaign, which was backed by the Prime Minister, has been organised in the UK.
Small Business Saturday has run successfully in the USA for four years and has succeeded in providing a boost worth billions of pounds every year to smaller local shops.
Alex was part of a delegation of small business owners invited to a reception at the Chancellor of the Exchequer's residence, Number 11 Downing Street, on Friday (6 December). The special event was held to kick start the Small Business Saturday campaign.
Alex, who met the Chancellor and other leading political figures at the event, said: "I'm delighted that Rugs of Petworth was chosen as one of the 100 featured businesses for Small Business Saturday. Having opened at the height of the banking crisis in 2008 and weathered the difficult start-up years during a recession, I'm hopeful that we're now moving from 'survive' to 'thrive'.
"I think Small Business Saturday is a superb campaign as it highlights the sheer number of small and micro businesses in Britain and their contribution to the economy. The Downing Street reception was well attended by ministers and shadow ministers alike, who showed a genuine interest in our views on what measures could help small businesses to grow.
"It was also excellent timing for Petworth as Small Business Saturday fell on the same day as the town's Christmas lights event. If you're talking about small independent businesses, look no no further than Petworth, with its unique blend of independent retailers and eateries."
Nick Herbert said: "Small Business Saturday is a great initiative and I hope that it will be repeated next year and become better known. It was fantastic that one of our local businesses was chosen to take part in the launch event in Downing Street, and it couldn't symbolise better the importance of independent retailers in West Sussex.
"We want the message to go out that we have fantastic independent shops in our villages and market towns that are really worth a visit, not just on one Saturday but all year round.
"It was useful to discuss the issues facing small businesses with Alex and I enjoyed visiting his very smart carpet shop again. The Petworth Business Association has done a great job in supporting businesses in the town and ensuring that, despite a difficult few years, it is thriving."
1. Further information about Rugs of Petworth can be found at http://www.rugsofpetworth.co.uk and twitter @RugsofPetworth
2. Further information about Small Business Saturday can be found at http://www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com and twitter @SmallBizSatUK
3. The Government's statement in support of Small Business Saturday can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-supports-first-ever-small-business-saturday
4. For details of new Government measures to support small businesses, see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-sets-out-new-support-on-small-business-saturday.