Shop local & support our small businesses

I have joined calls for people to support small, independent businesses in Fareham as part of Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots campaign to support, inspire and promote small business, on the first Saturday in December each year, and beyond. The campaign encourages businesses to promote themselves and for consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small, independent businesses in their communities.

The first Small Business Saturday UK took place on 7 December 2013 with subsequent celebrations taking place on 6 December 2014, 5 December 2015, 3 December 2016 and 2 December 2017.

This year, the event was held on 1 December. In 2016, research after the day suggested that consumers spent £717m with small businesses on Small Business Saturday, an increase of 15% on 2015 spending. Small Business Saturday 2017 was the most successful campaign yet with an estimated £748 million spent on the day.

To celebrate Small Business Saturday, I visited Fareham-based small business, Lily Anna Rose ( – which produces bespoke, stylish and elegant wedding stationary – to learn more about the ingenuity and skill of local small businesses.

I am always struck by the ingenuity and skill of our Small Businesses in Fareham and was very impressed by the range of original products produced by Lily Anna Rose, which specialises in wedding stationary.

Small Business Saturday is about celebrating the contribution of businesses like Claire’s to our communities, consumers and to the wider economy.

Small businesses really are the backbone of our economy, we should all do our bit to support them.