Member of Parliament for Oxford East, Anneliese Dodds, is to visit Oxford’s Covered Market today (30/11) to meet with traders ahead of Small Business Saturday.
Ms Dodds will visit the Covered Market with Councillor Mary Clarkson, Board Member for Culture and City Centre.
Small Business Saturday aims to highlight the success of small businesses and encourages consumers to 'shop local' and support their communities.
4,550 of Oxford’s total businesses – 96% per cent – are small and micro-businesses. Small businesses are classified as having below 50 employees. A micro business has below 10 employees. This breaks down to:
- Between 0-4 employees: 3,390 businesses
- Between 5-9 employees: 595 businesses
- Between 10-19 employees: 375 businesses
- Between 20-49 employees: 190 businesses
The Grade II-listed Oxford Covered Market, which first opened in 1774, features more than 50 traders selling food, gifts, shoes, fashion, flowers and jewellery, and provides a unique showcase for the very best in local crafts, food and drink.
The Covered Market has 61 units, with this set to rise to 63 later this year.
Eight new shops are to open in Oxford Covered Market in the run-up to Christmas – this includes Oxford Soap Company, a local independent company offering hand-made cosmetics, which opened a permanent shop earlier this month (13/11), and Fedele of Oxford, selling high-quality leather goods, which opened yesterday (29/11).
Oxford City Council is investing £3.1m into the Covered Market to secure its long-term future. The investment includes £1.8m to secure the roof for another 60 to 80 years, and £1.3m for internal refurbishment, decorations and new flooring.
Paul Birtles, Chairman of the Covered Market Traders’ Association and owner of The Garden, said: "Small Business Saturday is an initiative warmly welcomed by the businesses in The Covered Market and we are delighted that Anneliese has taken time to come and support The Market traders in advance of this event. We would encourage everyone to visit The Market and enjoy what is on offer from the exceptional, small, independent businesses here. Hopefully more people will support small businesses like ours and help turn Small Business Saturday into Small Business every day."
Councillor Mary Clarkson, Board Member for Culture and City Centre, said: “I am delighted that we were able to introduce Anneliese to the hardworking and talented traders inside Oxford’s Covered Market. We have many local and independent businesses within the market and across the city centre who make it a unique experience for all who visit. Small Business Saturday is the perfect day to visit and show your support for local small businesses.”
Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, said: “Small Business Saturday is a great way to support small businesses, which are the backbone of our local economy. We are lucky in Oxford to have such a diverse small business community, so if you are out and about this weekend, doing your weekly shopping or preparing for Christmas, consider visiting some of our fantastic independent and specialist traders.”