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  • John Allan, Federation of Small Businesses, Small Business Saturday

Small business campaign heads to region

Business owners, politicians and Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) representatives from the region are preparing to raise awareness of December’s Small Business Saturday initiative.

Ahead of the 5 December event, which promotes the importance of small businesses to the economy, a nationwide bus tour will stop off in St Helens’ Church Square on 11 November with a team of campaigners, before heading to Liverpool city centre on 12 November.

FSB’s national chairman, Southport-based John Allan (pictured), will join the bus in Liverpool’s Williamson Square alongside a group including Liverpool and Knowsley branch chair, Karen Bellion of Othella LLP;  LemonyLime Business Networking’s Sue Long, chair of the federation’s Sefton and Ormskirk branch; Wavertree MP, Luciana Berger; and several small business owners.

From 3.45-4.30pm in St Helens and 10am until 12pm in Liverpool, campaigners on the bus will meet shoppers and entrepreneurs to highlight Small Business Saturday, which will this year follow the theme ‘five million small businesses, one big day’.

Ahead of the bus tour’s visit, which is part of a 27-day trip making 29 stops across the country, John Allan of the FSB says:More than 99% of all companies in the UK – in excess of 5m – are small businesses. The role they play in economic growth is huge, providing almost half of all private sector employment and 33% of turnover. Small Business Saturday highlights the importance of small firms and the challenges they face so joining the bus to champion the campaign is something we are only too happy to do.

“In particular the plight of independent high street retailers is a cause close to my heart. That is why we are calling on the government to maintain the temporary doubling of small business rate relief and see through its commitment to real, root-and-branch rates reform. Further, if they want vibrant, diverse high streets offering choice and quality people need to vote with their feet – we are urging all shoppers to shop local this Christmas.”