Shoppers urged to support local businesses

call for custom ... shopping areas such as The Nook, in South Shields, need your support.
call for custom ... shopping areas such as The Nook, in South Shields, need your support.

With Christmas shopping now in full swing, the Gazette is again urging you, our readers, to give your backing to the borough’s traders.

Through our Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign, we’ve been spreading the message about just how important it is to promote South Shields town centre.

Now, we’re delighted to support this year’s Small Business Saturday on December 6.

The grass-roots campaign highlights small businesses’ successes and encourages consumers to support them.

The day itself takes place on the first shopping Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact.

Gazette editor Joy Yates said: ‘‘The Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign which we launched earlier this year has really resonated with our readers.

‘‘We have been delighted to play our part in encouraging more people into the town centre, whether it be to visit a shop, restaurant or leisure activity.

‘‘Small Business Saturday mirrors these aims, and we hope people will take the theme on board and do more of their Christmas shopping locally, not just on the day itself, but throughout the festive period.’’

Michelle Ovens, the national campaign’s director, said: “The first Small Business Saturday last year was an exceptional example of collaboration and co-operation, with small businesses teaming up in communities around the UK.

“We always said we wanted this to be the start of something amazing, a regular event that shines a light on small businesses throughout the UK in a way that is hugely beneficial to both the local and the national economy.

‘’Small Business Saturday demonstrates the level of diversity, innovation and talent that is active within our small business sector.”

The event also has support across the political spectrum, and shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna is fully behind it.

He said: “Small Business Saturday is a fantastic opportunity for all of us to get behind local small and independent businesses. They make our high streets more vibrant, create vital jobs,and help support the character of our villages, towns and cities.

“We need to talk more about the idea of the British dream, starting a business and getting on.

“Small Business Saturday supports just that and is a great way to encourage our entrepreneurs and the huge range of small businesses in every part of the UK.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazette

n Voice of South Tyneside ... Page 6

Small Business Saturday wants all kinds of small businesses to get involved, whether it be a family firm, local shop, online operation, wholesaler or small manufacturer.

For full details of how to take part, go online, log on to and click on the ‘get involved’ link.

There you will be able to download a digital pack, sign up to get a local marketing pack, including posters you can use on the day, and get social media alerts out when you share your plans for the event.

The Gazette is also keen to hear how shops in the borough are planning to mark Small Business Saturday.

Let us know what you’re doing by calling us on 501 7446.