Supporting Sunderland’s small traders this Christmas

New Sunderland Business Improvemnt District (BID) CEO Ken Dunbar
New Sunderland Business Improvemnt District (BID) CEO Ken Dunbar
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WITH Christmas shopping now in full swing, the Echo is again urging readers, to give their backing to the borough’s traders.

Through our Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign, we’ve been spreading the message about just how important it is to promote Sunderland city centre.

Now, we’re delighted to support this year’s Small Business Saturday.

The grass-roots campaign highlights small businesses’ successes and encourages consumers to support them.

The day itself takes place on the first shopping Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact.

Managing editor for Johnston Press North East Gavin Foster said: “The Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign which we launched earlier this year has really resonated with our readers.

“We have been delighted to play our part in encouraging more people into the city centre, whether it be to visit a shop, restaurant or leisure activity.

“Small Business Saturday mirrors these aims, and we hope people will take the theme on board and do more of their Christmas shopping locally, not just on the day itself, but throughout the festive period.”

The initiative also has the backing of the city’s Business Improvement District (BID) and the Sunderland Traders’ Association.

Ken Dunbar, chief executive of the BID, said: “Sunderland has a wealth of small, independently-owned businesses and we hope that Small Business Saturday will put a focus on them.

“They offer a range of really exciting products and we want more shoppers to recognise that fact and support them.

Harry Collinson of Collinson Jewellers and chairman of the traders’ association, added: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the city, our community and our economy and we hope everyone will really get behind the scheme and give them the support they deserve.

“Shopping locally brings with all kinds of advantages. If local businesses thrive then they will create further employment and that all goes to creating a more vibrant economy, which everyone benefits from.”

Michelle Ovens, the national campaign’s director, said: “The first Small Business Saturday last year was an exceptional example of collaboration and co-operation, with small businesses teaming up in communities around the UK.

“We always said we wanted this to be the start of something amazing, a regular event that shines a light on small businesses throughout the UK in a way that is hugely beneficial to both the local and the national economy.

“Small Business Saturday demonstrates the level of diversity, innovation and talent that is active within our small business sector.”

Find out more and get involved

SMALL Business Saturday wants all kinds of small businesses to get involved, whether it be a family firm, local shop, online operation, wholesaler or small manufacturer.

For full details of how to take part, go online, log on to and click on the ‘get involved’ link.

There you will be able to download a digital pack, sign up to get a local marketing pack, including posters you can use on the day, and get social media alerts out when you share your plans for the event.

The Echo is also keen to hear how shops in the borough are planning to mark Small Business Saturday.

Let us know what you’re doing by calling us on 501 7326.