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Small Business Saturday Sets Sail at the Harbour Commissioner’s Office

Small Business Saturday Launch Event, Belfast Harbour Commissioner's Office

Small Business Saturday Launch Event, Belfast Harbour Commissioner’s Office

The Small Business Saturday team headed by Michelle Ovens MBE sailed into the Harbour Commissioners Office in Belfast on Thursday 3rd September 2015 to launch the 2015 Small Business Saturday campaign. Enterprise Northern Ireland was delighted to be part of the event and is hugely supportive of the Campaign.

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, non-political, non-commercial campaign that encourages people to support small businesses in their communities, both on a set Saturday each December in the lead up to Christmas and beyond. This year the Saturday chosen for the campaign focus will be the 5th December with literally hundreds of business related events taking place all over the UK. The Campaign also aims to support, inspire and promote small business all year round. The initiative started in 2010 in the US, and has generated a lot of custom for small businesses. The Campaign is now in its third year in the UK. The 2014 Small Business Saturday was a huge success as 16.5 million people shopped in small businesses in the UK on 6th December last year, 2.7 million more shoppers than in 2013. £504 million was spent in small businesses in that day and 65% of shoppers on 6th December were aware of the Campaign.
The 2015 Belfast Launch

Many launch events have already taken place and are scheduled for throughout the remainder of September all across the UK. The Northern Ireland Campaign Launch took place at the Harbour Commissioner’s Office in Belfast on Thursday 3rd September. Attending the event were Northern Ireland Councillors, business support organisations such as Enterprise Northern Ireland and a wealth of home grown businesses from Northern Ireland showcasing their products and services.

Amongst the businesses in attendance were Enterprise Northern Ireland clients including Julie Hickey from Omagh based Tamnagh Foods providing the opportunity to sample some of their most popular cheeses, chutneys and granola. From Skinny Malinky’s, Paula Heaney also provided samples of her ever popular range of healthy, nourishing juices to tantalize the taste-buds, as well as EquiNutritive, a Northern Irish business making natural supplements for horses by hand.

The Bus Tour

In the lead up to the Small Business Saturday on 5th December, the Small Business Saturday bus will make its way to Northern Ireland on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th November travelling through Belfast, Derry/Londonderry and Banbridge providing free business help support and guidance to all those small businesses or inspired entrepreneurs in need.

How can your small business get involved?

From now until 5th December 2015 you can:

  1. Put posters and stickers up in your windows; download the digital pack from the website (www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com) and use the logo and banners on your website and social networks.
  2. Share your pictures of your business decked out in Small Business Saturday posters on Twitter with the #SmallBizSatUK tag and tag your local region.
  3. Download the Small Business Saturday free social media guide from the website for tips on how to make the most of social media and Small Business Saturday.
  4. Speak to your local council and encourage them to support the campaign in your local community – find out if they have anything planned yet that you can get involved in.
  5. Speak to other small businesses in your community and networks and encourage them to get involved.
  6. Host an event on December 5th (or the week pre-ceding that Saturday if you don’t operate on a Saturday).
  7. Encourage consumers through the door/online by offering promotions, cups of tea, mince pies, bands/music, anything that demonstrates that this is a day to celebrate and get involved in.
  8. Write to your local councillor and MP and encourage them to pop down to see your event.
  9. Contact your local press and make them aware of how you are making the most of Small Business Saturday. Use the campaign as a great PR opportunity for your business!
  10. Look at where you can support other small businesses, e.g. in your supply chain.
  11. Tell your friends, neighbours, schools – everyone you know – that Small Business Saturday is happening, that you are supporting it and they should too. Spread the word on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK

Have fun!!

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