In what has been a difficult year for all businesses there has never been a more important time to shop locally and MBC is encouraging everyone who can, to help and buy from small businesses, whilst ensuring they are keeping to the government Tier 3 Covid Winter Plan restrictions which will be in place from Wednesday 2 December.
Now in its ninth year in the UK, Small Business Saturday has grown significantly and according to the organisation that runs the event,Covid-19 lockdowns have boosted the nation’s love for UK small businesses, with 59 per cent of Brits saying they now support local businesses more than previously.
Cllr Paul Harper, Chair of the MBC Economic, Regeneration and Leisure Committee said:
“Maidstone Borough Council is delighted to recognise and support Small Business Saturday. We all understand what a difficult year it has been for businesses of all sizes and the coronavirus has emphasised how important small firms are to all of our communities.”
Residents of Maidstone have already been supporting local businesses throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns as reflected in the latest Property Week Hot 100 Retail Index report. Compiled by location expert CACI, using mobile phone location data providing an insight into shopper behaviour, the County Town was in the top third of retail locations in the country for resilience during the crisis.
MBC works closely with One Maidstone – Business Improvement District (BID), to help and support town centre traders.
Ilsa Butler, One Maidstone – BID Manager added:
“Maidstone, and particularly the town centre, has a high representation of independent businesses, with many small business owners looking to set up and expand their offerings here. This community of unique retailers and venues, combined with larger chains, offers a comprehensive shopping experience for our visitors, which translates into these positive resilience figures – whilst it’s undoubtedly been one of the toughest years for our traders, we know that Maidstone residents are keen to support local business owners as they come out of lockdown, especially through initiatives such as Small Business Saturday.”
A list of Small Business Saturday organisations in Maidstone can be found on the website: https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/small-business-finder
With a rising trend in Covid-19 cases in Maidstone and across the borough, the area along with the county of Kent, is entering Tier 3 which includes restrictions on people meeting or gathering together. MBC is reminding everyone to both follow the public health advice of regularly washing hands, wearing face masks where needed and socially distancing to protect each other.