Small shops across Oxford will be offering 10 per cent discounts to customers as part of this year’s Small Business Saturday.
Parking will also be free at all Park and Ride sites around Oxford on the day – Saturday 5 December 2015.
Small Business Saturday is a national campaign to highlight the important role played by small businesses in the local and national economy; the Oxford initiative will help to encourage consumers to support small shops and to shop locally.
To promote the event, the Small Business Saturday bus will visit Oxford on 19 November 2015 on its tour through 27 towns and cities across the country.
The bus will visit Bonn Square between 10am and 2pm and then Manzil Way off Cowley Road between 2.30pm and 4pm. The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Rae Humberstone, will open the event at 10am.
The bus will host bite-sized talks from business leaders and specialists, with subjects including starting up a business, effective networking, competing as an independent retailer and the benefits of social value in business.
Members of the public and small businesses in every sector of the economy are encouraged to come along to the bus to meet the experts and get involved in the free bite-size sessions.
There is still time for small businesses to sign up to be involved in the 10 per cent discount on Saturday 5 December or the bus tour on Thursday 19 November 2015.
SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) account for 60 per cent of employment in the country and generated 2.1m new jobs between 2011 and 2014.
The number of SMEs is increasing in Oxford. The city had 238.3 SMEs per 10,000 population in 2014, a 4.2 per cent rise from 2011. There were also 41.7 business starts per 10,000 population in 2013, a 6.7 per cent rise from 2011.
Councillor Bob Price, Leader of Oxford City Council, said: “Oxford is fortunate in having a highly successful small business sector covering a wide range of different types of products and services.
“The dynamism and growth of the local economy has been fuelled by the success of the small business sector, and this Saturday is an opportunity to celebrate that success.
“There is an urgent need to increase the amount of commercial space for small businesses in the city as demand is currently outstripping supply by a large margin.
“The Council is working hard on plans for the development of the West End and Oxpens as well as the Northern Gateway and Churchill sites with a view to meeting the growing demand for employment space.”
David Hawes, Thames Valley regional chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to remember the small businesses at the heart of our communities and we are happy to support the Small Business Saturday bus when it arrives in Oxford in November.
“When consumers see the diversity and value on offer, we hope it will make them more inclined to use local small firms, leading to booming local economies and more diverse high streets.
“The UK’s 5.2 million small businesses are driving the economic recovery and Small Business Saturday helps to remind us what fantastic firms are out there.”
Michelle Ovens, Small Business Saturday campaign director, said: “Small Business Saturday is an exceptional example of collaboration and co-operation with small businesses teaming up in communities around the UK.
“The bus tour is a very visible way of enabling small businesses to engage with the campaign as we head around the UK, drumming up interest, support and enthusiasm.
“We are visiting even more places this year and are really looking forward to welcoming small business owners and consumers to the bus in Oxford to get information and find out ways in which they can support small businesses and make the day work most effectively for companies in their own communities.”
Nigel Tipple, Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chief executive, said: “Small Business Saturday is an excellent initiative providing an opportunity for small business owners in Oxford to receive support and guidance via a number of helpful bite-size sessions with local business experts. SME’s are the backbone of Oxfordshire’s economy and the LEP will continue to support them through OBS’s various support mechanisms and funding programmes.”
For more information visit the Small Business Saturday website.