BOOST FOR SMALL BIZ AS MAJOR NEW SUPPORT TOUR LAUNCHES

Small Business Saturday launches UK’s first virtual roadshow to support small businesses

Small businesses across the UK are being offered a major new package of support and mentoring, as Small Business Saturday UK launches the UK’s first online roadshow for towns and cities affected by the pandemic.

Launching on 2 November 2020 with daily ‘virtual visits’ to small businesses and communities in over thirty locations across the U.K., Small Business Saturday UK will offer an ambitious, vibrant and intensive programme of locally targeted online advice, workshops and mentoring.

With the aim to support, encourage and uplift small businesses across the country facing the challenge of a second wave of Covid-19 restrictions, the virtual tour will form a central part of the official countdown to Small Business Saturday on 5 December.

Now in its eighth year in the UK, Small Business Saturday celebrates small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support businesses in their communities.

Kicking off in Scotland with a focus on Inverness, the tour will ‘zoom into’ locations across the country each weekday; reaching everywhere from city centres like Edinburgh, Manchester, London and Cardiff, to rural communities such as Pateley Bridge in the Yorkshire Dales and Bodmin in Cornwall.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s online roadshow will temporarily replace the iconic Small Business Saturday UK bus tour which has been running since the campaign began.

“This year has been incredibly tough for small businesses – financially, operationally, mentally and emotionally. This means our mission to support and celebrate small businesses across the UK becomes even more vital and ambitious”, said Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK.

“While we’re obviously sad not to be visiting small businesses on the ground, we are excited to use online to reach more people than ever, and bring small businesses and their communities a tremendously useful package of support. This is all part of our promise to make this year’s Small Business Saturday the best and most important one yet.”

The online roadshow will include free virtual mentoring advice on a range of topics, from digital marketing, to time and money management. Live interviews and workshops with local businesses, experts, dignitaries and supporters of the campaign will also be streamed via Small Business Saturday UK’s Facebook page, along with a fun-filled daily ‘Happy Hour’ giveaway broadcast.

Peter Oliver, MD SME for BT’s Enterprise unit, the official supporter of the Small Business Saturday bus-tour said:

“Despite this year being phenomenally tough for small businesses across the UK, we have seen many businesses embrace the benefits that being more digital can bring; for them, their employees and their customers. To make that leap, they need support and encouragement. The Tour 2020 is another great initiative from the Small Business Saturday team and we’re delighted to be involved. We all have a role to play in helping our small business community and we look forward to offering mentoring support and helping them to develop their digital skills through our BT Skills for Tomorrow programme.”

Small businesses can book virtual one-to-one mentoring sessions with local experts via the ‘My Business Section’ on the Small Business Saturday website.

A grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010. American Express remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its avid championing of the UK high street and commitment to encourage consumers to shop small.