Small Business Saturday goes green on tour

Small Business Saturday has set off on a new nationwide roadshow to support small businesses across the UK.

Starting from the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, ‘The Tour’ is visiting 20 British towns and cities to support, inspire and spotlight the 6 million small businesses across the UK, as part of the countdown to Small Business Saturday.

And for the first time it will showcase a fleet of eco vehicles that reflect daily life for small businesses and the sustainable switches many are making or considering – including an electric van, car and scooter, as well as a ‘delivery style’ push bike.

This comes as 97% of small businesses say sustainability is important to their business, according to research by Tour supporter BT Skills for Tomorrow and Small Business Britain.*

Organisers say this will be a zero emissions Tour, with the sustainability focus part of a drive both to reduce environmental impact, and to highlight the important role small businesses play in getting the UK to Net Zero by 2050.

The Tour will, for the first time, deliver a hybrid format of online and in-person activity. This will include virtual workshops, webinars and mentoring on a range of small business topics, as well as on-the-ground-visits and live-streamed interviews with local businesses in cities including Manchester, Belfast, Cardiff, and Edinburgh, as well as coastal towns such as Whitley Bay and rural Hereford.

“We are so excited to get back on the road with this new Tour and put the spotlight on fantastic small businesses and their communities, as well as opening up skills and networking opportunities to millions of entrepreneurs using a new hybrid format,” said Michelle Ovens, CBE, director of Small Business Saturday.

“Running The Tour in an environmentally conscious way is incredibly important to us, and in doing so we hope to encourage small businesses to take the leap and pledge to go Net Zero.”

Chris Sims, BT’s managing director for its SoHo (Single/Small office, Home office) unit, said: “Despite the hugely tough period small businesses have endured across the UK, we have seen many businesses embrace new ways of working and a shift towards digital. The Tour is a fantastic initiative to reach out and support small businesses with the digital skills they need as they look to scale up in key areas such as digital marketing and sustainability, and we are delighted to be supporting it again this year.”

Ther tour kicked off on Monday (1 November) and will finish in London shortly ahead of Small Business Saturday on 4 December.

Now in its ninth year in the UK, Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which celebrates small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and to support businesses in their communities.

Last year Small Business Saturday saw an estimated £1.1 billion spent with small businesses across the UK on the day, according to research from American Express, the campaign’s founder and principal supporter in the UK.

To get involved in The Tour and book one-to-one mentoring sessions visit the ‘My Business Section’ on the Small Business Saturday website.

Tour Dates

·      Monday 1 November            Glasgow

·      Tuesday 2 November           Glasgow

·      Wednesday 3 November      Edinburgh

·      Thursday 4 November          Kilmarnock

·      Friday 5 November               Belfast

·      Monday 8 November           Whitley Bay

·      Tuesday 9 November           Northallerton

·      Wednesday 10 November    Grimsby

·      Thursday 11 November        Manchester

·      Friday 12 November             Colwyn Bay

·      Monday 15 November         Derby

·      Tuesday 16 November         Birmingham

·      Wednesday 17 November    Hereford

·      Thursday 18 November        Cardiff

·      Friday 19 November             Plymouth

·      Monday 22 November         Southampton

·      Tuesday 23 November         Brighton

·      Wednesday 24 November    Margate

·      Thursday 25 November        Leighton Buzzard

·      Friday 26 November             Cambridge

·      Monday 29 November         London

·      Tuesday 30 November         London

·      Wednesday 1 December      London

*The research was conducted in September 2021 with a representative sample of more than 1,000 UK small businesses, by Small Business Britain and BT.

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