24 NOVEMBER 2020: 

Small businesses in Guildford and across Surrey are being encouraged to join Small Business Saturday UK’s online roadshow, when the campaign’s nationwide virtual tour will zoom into the town offering support and mentoring for small businesses and communities affected by the pandemic.

Arriving in Guildford on Monday 30th of November for a ‘virtual visit’, ‘The Tour’ will shine a light on the town and offer an intensive programme of locally targeted online advice, workshops, and mentoring.

Local businesses will deliver workshops, while other local experts will be on hand for one-to-one mentoring. Interviews with local Surrey businesses will take place to share knowledge, including with Martine Robbins from HR Dept and Ruth Macintyre from micro-bakery and cooking school Ruth’s Little Kitchen.

Insights from business and political leaders will also be streamed via Small Business Saturday UK’s Facebook page. A fun-filled ‘Happy Hour’ will take place with prizes from The Kooky Two’s jewellery.

With the aim to support, encourage and uplift small businesses across the country facing the challenge of a tough winter of Covid-19 restrictions, The Tour will form a central part of the official countdown to  Small Business Saturday on 5 December.

“This year has been incredibly tough for small businesses – financially, operationally, mentally, and emotionally. This means our mission to support and celebrate small businesses across the UK becomes even more vital and ambitious. I would encourage small businesses in Guildford and across Surrey to get involved in The Tour. As well as offering fantastic support and networking opportunities, it will also be a lot of fun.” said Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK.

Now in its eighth year in the UK, Small Business Saturday celebrates small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support businesses in their communities.

 To get involved small businesses should follow the Small Business Saturday Facebook page and book virtual one-to-one mentoring sessions and workshops with local experts via the ‘My Business Section’ on the Small Business Saturday website.

Jon Pollock, director of BT’s Enterprise unit in the South of England, the official supporter of The Tour from Small Business Saturday UK said:

 “Despite this year being phenomenally tough for small businesses across the UK, we have seen many businesses embrace the benefits that being more digital can bring; for them, their employees, and their customers. To make that leap, they need support and encouragement. The Tour 2020 is another great initiative from the Small Business Saturday team and we’re delighted to be involved. We all have a role to play in helping our small business community and we look forward to offering mentoring support and helping them to develop their digital skills through our BT Skills for Tomorrow programme.”

A grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010. American Express remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its avid championing of the UK high street and commitment to encourage consumers to shop small.

Going now for over three weeks, The Tour has ‘zoomed into’ over thirty locations across the U.K., each weekday; reaching everywhere from city centres like Edinburgh, Manchester, and Cardiff, to rural communities such as Pateley Bridge in the Yorkshire Dales and Bodmin in Cornwall.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s online roadshow will temporarily replace the iconic Small Business Saturday UK bus tour which has been running since the campaign began.