On Saturday, Worcester MP Robin Walker toured the city centre with the Worcester Business Improvement District (BID) visiting several of the bespoke and unique shops the faithful city has to offer.
Shoppers in Worcester came out in force not only to support local businesses for the 6th annual Small Business Saturday, but also to participate in the City’s famous Victorian Christmas Fayre.
Robin visited many shops and stalls around the City centre on Saturday, including Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, Friar St Kitchen, The King’s and Mangojuice Galleries, Anja Potze, Wise Owl Toys and Rock Follies Vintage.
The huge success of Small Business Saturday, and the iconic Victorian Christmas Fayre in Worcester comes only weeks after the City was a finalist just missing the top spot at the Great British High Street Awards.
Two of the shops Robin visited on Saturday have recently been commended for their excellence, and travelled to Parliament to participate in celebrations: Wise Owl Toys was recently shortlisted in the Best Small Shops Awards 2018, and Rock Follies Vintage’s Linda Case travelled down as a guest of Lord Young of Graffham to represent her business.
Robin has long campaigned to support the high street and as such welcomed American Express’ estimation of £812 million being spent in small businesses across the UK on Saturday- an increase of over £50million when compared with 2017 figures.
Support for the campaign came from 90% of local councils – a three per cent increase on 2017 – calling for the nation to shop local and support the 5.6 million small businesses across the country.
Positive consumer sentiment and support for small businesses on a local level was echoed through national government, with the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mayor of London all supporting the campaign.
As a backbencher, Robin was a member of the Business Select Committee and called for a major report into high streets and the future of retail; as such, Robin welcomed the recent Budget’s £900million in immediate business rate relief for small retailers to ease the burden of online retail giants.
Speaking about Small Business Saturday, Robin said:
“We are tremendously fortunate here in Worcester to have such a fantastic High Street and such a wealth of great local businesses to support. I very much enjoyed wandering around with Worcester BID’s Phoebe Dawson, visiting several small shops and hearing all about their successes. Worcester is made great by the plethora of excellent and unique businesses it has to offer, and having Small Business Saturday coincide with the Victorian Christmas Fayre was a wonderful example of the best of our vibrant, bustling city.”
“Small businesses are vitally important to me and my constituents, and provide the foundation of local and national economies. Youth unemployment in particular has fallen by over 75% since I first became Worcester’s MP and this impressive record relies on the strength of our small local businesses, who I have been proud to support throughout my time in Parliament. Small Business Saturday is a time to celebrate the achievements of our local shops and traders and it really showcases the best of Worcester. I will always work hard to ensure that small businesses in Worcester are thriving, growing and employing.”
Phoebe Dawson, Director of Worcester BID said:
“Small Business Saturday is a really important date for our businesses and it was wonderful to have Robin’s support with the Worcester campaign once again this year. Over 60% of businesses in our city centre are independent small businesses and it was great to celebrate with them on Saturday, as well as launch the new Worcester BID ‘Little Book of Independents’.”
Michelle Ovens MBE, Director of Small Business Saturday said:
“In its sixth year, Small Business Saturday has once again captured the hearts and minds of the nation, boosting spending with Britain’s small independent businesses. It has been a challenging year for the high street, and so to see the amount spent on Small Business Saturday yet again is fantastic. Year-on-year, small businesses prove their importance to their communities, and consumers up and down the country respond with incredible support for and engagement in this important campaign.”
Notes to editors:
For more information on Small Business Saturday, please see:
For more information on Worcester’s Victorian Christmas Fayre, please see:
For more information on the budget and small shops tax relief, please see: