Sunderland shoppers urged to support Saturday market

Matty Thoburn of Thoburns Fruit and Veg will be taking part in the Small Business Saturday.

Matty Thoburn of Thoburns Fruit and Veg will be taking part in the Small Business Saturday.

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Shoppers are being urged to get behind the city’s independent traders this weekend, for Small Business Saturday.

The annual celebration of independent businesses, which is designed to encourage Christmas shoppers to rediscover the traders they have on their doorstep, will see many of the city’s small businesses run stalls at a pop-up market, as well as manning their shops across the city, to help shine a spotlight on the goods they have to offer.

Joanne Ibbitson of Ibbitsons will be taking part in the Small Business Saturday.

Joanne Ibbitson of Ibbitsons will be taking part in the Small Business Saturday.

The national initiative was launched to remind people of the vibrancy that independent traders bring to towns and cities across the country, and traders in Sunderland are hoping that shoppers will get behind them and buy local.

Anthony Reynolds, one of the traders who is taking part in the Small Business Saturday market, and who sells outdoor goods from his family business Reynolds Outdoor Centre in Derwent Street, said: “Reynolds has been going for more than 100 years, and has been built on the support of people from this city.

“We hope people will get behind us over the Christmas period. Independent traders in Sunderland have something different to offer and we believe that can be brought to the fore on Small Business Saturday, not least through the market we have planned.”

The initiative is being supported by MAKE it Sunderland and Sunderland Business Improvement (BID).

As well as being a day of celebration to showcase small businesses, Saturday will see a City Centre Christmas Market running from 9am to 5pm in Market Square, featuring a variety of stalls from independent traders including fresh fruit and veg, sweets and candy, meat and poultry, ladies fashion, outdoor wear, art supplies and local art, as well as framed photography of the city and a great deal more.

There will also be a raffle on the day offering the opportunity to win a signed SAFC football shirt as well as a football signed by the current squad.

The festive market, backed by some of the city’s most established traders, is running from stalls in Market Square, and has been organised by Sunderland trader Brian Jackson, supported by MAKE it Sunderland, as well as the BID.

Coun Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We have retailers to be proud of in Sunderland, many of them established for generations. I hope this event encourages people to get behind them once again.”