25 November 2014

Media Release

25 November 2014


SHOPPERS in Sunderland are being urged to take part in a pioneering initiative designed to give small businesses a pre-Christmas boost.

Experience It Here! the city’s Business Improvement District, is calling on residents and visitors to show their support for independent retailers in a day-long scheme taking place on Saturday 6 December.

Small Business Saturday is a Government initiative, which aims to increase footfall and raise awareness of a whole range of small businesses, from retailers to not-for- profit charities and organisations.

And now the BID in association with the Sunderland Traders’ Association is encouraging people to support “home grown” businesses on the day and beyond.

“Sunderland has a wealth of small, independently-owned businesses and we hope that Small Business Saturday will put a focus on them,” said Ken Dunbar, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID,

“They offer a range of really exciting products and we want more shoppers to recognise that fact and support them.

His words were echoed by Harry Collinson of Collinson Jewellers and chair of the traders’ association.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the city, our community and our economy and we hope everyone will really get behind the scheme and give them the support they deserve,” he said.

“Shopping locally brings with all kinds of advantages. If local businesses thrive then they will create further employment and that all goes to creating a more vibrant economy, which everyone benefits from.”

Small Business Saturday – an American concept which  helped drive sales of $5.5bn (£3.5bn) in small independent shops across the US and led to an increase in longer-term custom - is the latest in a long line of initiatives in the city centre.

That includes a full programme of Christmas activities and entertainment and the Advent Door which can be seen at various locations throughout the city until Christmas Eve, with shoppers being able to win prizes on a daily basis.