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Make every day Small Business Saturday: This week on Enterprise Nation

Make every day Small Business Saturday: This week on Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
 

Posted: Sun 6th Dec 2015

Head of content Dan Martin looks back at the week on Enterprise Nation.

If you were on Twitter yesterday you can't have failed to notice the #SmallBizSatUK hashtag. Following the week of celebrations that were Global Entrepreneurship Week, another day rolled around with a focus on small companies.

Small Business Saturday is the day that the public is encouraged to shop local and if there was a sale for every tweet that was sent, the tills must have been ringing constantly across the country!

George Osborne kick off the shindig on Friday as the Treasury opened its doors to a bunch of small businesses from up north for a Northern Powerhouse themed Christmas market. We spotted this great podcast that captured the atmosphere.

Saturday itself arrived and it wasn't long before we spotted MPs of all persuasions posing for snaps in their local shops. We decided to track their activities and visits to butchers were particularly popular! This was my favourite:

You too could end up with a double-chin like mine when you sample the fabulous food at Leigh Market! #SmallBizSatUK pic.twitter.com/2cu58LRA4S

"" Andy Burnham (@andyburnhammp) December 5, 2015

The government also used the day to release some small business statistics, positive of course.

In the morning they told us that employment at small firms has risen by more than 1.6m in five years and in the evening new data from the Cabinet Office showed that 27.1% of government spending last year was with small and medium sized companies.

The latter story is particularly interesting for us given our push for more small companies to get access to government contracts. The news is very welcome but we will continue to campaign for more. We want to see the government hitting their 33% target and place particular focus on helping the smallest of companies secure government work. The statistics are for companies with up to 250 employees so ministers need to make sure the full breath of firms are represented.

One way the tiniest of companies can do business with Whitehall is through many of the major suppliers. One of our favourites is Sodexo, the massive international company which among other things provides food and catering services to public sector organisations.

We published a video interview with Aoife Wycherley, Sodexo food buyer, this week who has spoken at several of our events and met small companies that have gone on to supply Sodexo. Watch out for more collaboration between Enterprise Nation and the government's major suppliers as we tell you how you can get involved.

But the real stars of Small Business Saturday were of course the small businesses.

We celebrated a few of them during the day by sharing profiles of some of our brilliant members and our Regional Champions were out and about doing their bit. Debbie Assinder, our West Midlands Champion, hosted a brilliant all day event in Birmingham, Alison Edgar in the South West was sharing advice and meeting politicians in Chippenham and Ian Page in East Staffordshire got involved in a small business conga!

Meet all the small businesses we've showcased today & many more at https://t.co/qQDEWo7RRv #smallbizsatuk pic.twitter.com/XCid3oKvhS

"" Enterprise Nation (@e_nation) December 5, 2015

We'd love to hear how the day went for you and whether you saw an increase in sales. Share your experiences in the comments.

Supporting small businesses though isn't of course about just one day. We hope the initiative led to many members of the public discovering new local gems that they will continue to do business with throughout the year. And of course, it isn't just about the high street. We mustn't forgot the many independent internet businesses, services firms and business to business advisers and providers who weren't even open yesterday. They're all part of Britain's five million small companies that all need support. So let's make every day Small Business Saturday.

On the blog this week:

Read previous weekly updates:

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