BHCC champions its independents on Small Business Saturday

Brighton & Hove City Council is gearing up for the second year in a row to support Small Business Saturday, an annual national initiative to encourage consumers to support local, independent businesses on one of the busiest shopping days before Christmas.  

This year the event which is taking place on Saturday 6 December will see a host of organisations across the city holding special events and activities, plus there will be a series of specially commissioned art installations at five different locations and a trail of lanterns in the city centre supported by SameSky and Brilliant Brighton.

Helpers from the Council’s Economic Development team, the city’s tourism arm VisitBrighton, and Hove Business Association will be at Brighton, Hove and Portslade train stations to hand out city maps highlighting clusters of independent retailers in areas including London Road, Boundary Road in Portslade, George Street in Hove, the new West Pier Arches and The Lanes and North Laine.

Free car parking will also be available at five council-owned car parks on 6 December and four subsequent Sundays in the run-up to Christmas.

To drive footfall to Hove and Portslade, The Hove Business Association (HBA) is running a festive Stamp’n Win scheme where customers can collect stamps for each participating shop they visit, regardless of whether they make a purchase.  Completed cards can then be entered into a £500 cash prize draw.

BHCC leader, Jason Kitcat says: “The city attracts over 9 million visitors a year and shopping is a key attraction.  The sheer volume and quality of our independent shops is what sets us apart from other destinations and the ethos of buying locally is something the council wholeheartedly supports. 

“Small Business Saturday is another way to champion our local businesses who contribute significantly to the local economy and help keep visitors flocking to the city year-round.”

Over the past two years, several council backed projects have helped to regenerate under-used and run-down areas of the city.  The refurbishment of 10 new seafront arches to the west of the new i360 site created a new retail quarter in July.  The arches now house a range of independent shops selling goods including children’s clothing, homeware and art.   In the same month, a refurbishment of the well-loved Open Market on London Road was completed and now offers workshop space and a host of units to traders selling fresh, locally sourced food and goods, as well as a variety of arts, crafts, services and garden goods.  And a council-backed bid to secure funding for the Portas Project kick-started the regeneration of London Road resulting in fewer empty shops and the attraction of a range of new retail and food outlets.

The council works with partner organisations throughout the year to support small businesses including the provision of business workshops through its Ride the Wave Programme, and its Dressed for Success scheme which offers 29 shops free one-to-one expert training in how to make the most of their window displays in the run up to Christmas. It is also delivering grants to small businesses up to the value of £3,000 towards the cost of installing a high-speed broadband connection across the city.

Notes for editors

Ride The Wave
A business support programme providing local businesses with free training, practical advice, and workshops to help them grow and create more jobs is being held from late November to March. Ride the Wave is funded and led by the council, and Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce who deliver the programme.

Free parking
Free parking will be available in five council car parks Trafalgar Street, High Street, Regency Square, London Road, and Norton Road on Saturday December 6 and Sundays December 7, 14 and 21.

Roadworks suspended
All major roadworks in busy shopping areas will be suspended or scaled down from December 1 to January 2.

Voting for the Dressed for Success window displays will open on December 4 and run until December 23.
People can vote by ‘liking’ photos of the shop windows on Facebook, they can choose their favourites in a variety of categories - including Overall Best Dressed Window, Most Theatrical, and Cleverest Concept - using an online voting form, and a trail map will be available online to encourage people to visit the shops in person.

A range of creative pop-ups have opened in the city over the last year to put empty shops to good use, in a drive led by the council in partnership with an organisation called We Are Pop Up.

London Road regeneration
Regeneration work in the London Road area is helping retailers in that part of the city. Work to improve and enhance the area includes the restoration of the Open Market, the Portas pilot in London Road, restoration of The Level, and the creation of a ‘pocket park’ in Ann Street and improvements to Providence Place.

Lantern Trail

Same Sky and Brilliant Brighton have come together to create a trail of lanterns across the city throughout December and into the New Year. Launching on Small Business Saturday, the trail is a celebration of 21 years of Burning the Clocks.  A series of lantern houses, inspired by the city and its architecture, have been created by local artists and will be available to view in five shop windows from 6 December 2014: The Futon Shop in Preston Street, Edited on Gardner Street, Donatello in Brighton Place, Jigsaw menswear in the Lanes and Simon Webster Hair in the North Laine.


For more information about events taking place on small Business Saturday see: