HIGH STREET SMALL BUSINESSES SET FOR £1500 BOOSTChancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will today welcome 100 small business owners from across the country to the first ever Downing Street Christmas Fair as he unveils business rates support for 30,000 small businesses based on the high street.  On the eve of the UK’s second Small Business Saturday, the Chancellor announced an additional £500 business rate discount for retail and food and drink business. This takes the total discount from the current £1,000 to £1,500 in 2015/16 and reduces the cost of business rates on the high street.Local authorities already apply the £1,000 discount to an estimated 30,000 eligible retail and food and drink premises such as drycleaners, hairdressers, cafes and shops. The additional discount will be available for businesses in properties with a rateable value below £50,000.The Chancellor George Osborne said:“Small business Saturday UK is a brilliant initiative. I urge everyone to visit their local shops tomorrow and support their local small businesses.”A total of £1bn of measures to help businesses with the cost of business rates were announced in the Autumn Statement – helping 1.8m firms.These include: •Doubling of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) for a further year to 31 March 2016 to provide support for 575,000 of the smallest businesses, and ensuring 385,000 small businesses pay no rates. •Capping the rise in the business rates multiplier to benefit all businesses.•Extending Transitional Rate Relief to support 16,000 small business facing significant bill increases due to the ending of Transitional Rate Relief.Businesses with the ambition and capacity to grow are also set to receive a boost with the launch of the Business Growth Service by the Chancellor today. This service brings together Government support schemes in one place.  Business and Enterprise Minister Matt Hancock said:“Small businesses have driven our economic recovery. These are the hardworking heroes of our economy who stay up late into the night honing their ideas and creating jobs for others. “Small business told us the support available was too disjointed so we have joined it together through our new Business Growth Service, which will provide a tailored package of support to thousands of firms each year. We are backing Britain’s small businesses and I am committed to making Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business.”Michelle Ovens, National Campaign Director, Small Business Saturday UK, said:“We are excited to be bringing nearly 100 small business owners to Downing Street today to highlight the diversity and innovation of small businesses in the UK and why it is so important for us all to go out on Saturday and support at least one small business in our local community. “This is not an abstract economic concept, this is personal. If you don't own a small business, you will either work for one or know somebody who does. This is about supporting our friends, our families and our neighbours and strengthening our local communities and economies.”The event also marked the unveiling of the first official No.11 Downing Street Christmas Tree. The Christmas tree was selected by the Chancellor when he visited Marldon Christmas Tree Farm in Devon. Marldon Christmas Tree Farm is a home grown businesses owned by Sadie Lynes. The 100 business owners attending the Downing Street Christmas Fair include Start Up Loans recipient, Svandish Catering. They will be joined by 15 small businesses selected by Small Business Saturday Campaign to display their products and services.BackgroundOn business rates retail discount:•Local authorities will apply the discount to business rates bills and they will be fully reimbursed for this relief through state aid grants. •This relief will be available for one year.•The discount will be available for businesses in properties with a rateable value below £50,000.•Properties classed as A1, A3, A4, A5 uses for planning purposes will be eligible – such as charity shops, drycleaners, hairdressers, pubs, restaurants, cafes, and hot food takeaways. •Properties classed as A2, B, C, D will not be eligible – includes betting shops, banks, payday lenders, estate agents, hotels, cinemas, etc. Start-up loans recipient information:Svadish Catering received a total of £5,000 from the Start Up Loans Company. With this money business owner Sonya started her Indian restaurant and catering company Svadish Catering at the age of 19. As a diabetic she wanted to serve healthy, homemade Indian food, and use herbs and spices that are believed to help the condition. Sonya’s long-term goal is to have Svadish restaurants and catering services across the UK.      Marldon Christmas Tree Farm:The Marldon Christmas Tree Farm is part of Jadecliff, owned and run by Sadie Lynes. The company provides Christmas trees for the wholesale market but also supplies directly to the public on many of its sites. The company also plans to help Britain become a market leader in Christmas tree growing, working with Bicton Agriculture College to form new courses about the industry. Business Growth Service:Businesses have told us they find it hard to find the right type of support. We have listened, and the Government is making it simpler and easier for every business to get the help that they need.For all businesses there is a single place to go for help: www.GREATbusiness.gov.uk, so businesses can find support easily.And for firms with ambition and capacity to grow, the Government’s Business Growth Service brings together a broad range of expertise to help businesses to: •Access finance•Develop new ideas and market them•Protect intellectual property•Build leadership and management skills•Export for the first time or break into new markets  •Improve manufacturing processes and build supply chains•Connect with a network of ambitious business leadersAt local level, growth hubs will be the single point of access for the Business Growth Service.

Small businesses around the UK across all business sectors and communities are to be put back in the national spotlight when the UK’s third annual Small Business Saturday takes place on December 5th.

Small Business Saturday is already the UK’s most successful small business campaign. Last year 16.5 million adults went out to support a small business on Small Business Saturday with 64% of the UK aware of the campaign. The UK’s small businesses between them provide 60% of private sector jobs and nearly 50% of private sector turnover. Last year the campaign was featured by all major media, trended at number one on Twitter on the day (above One Direction!) and received around 3.5 million views on its Facebook page. This year Small Business Saturday carries the theme “5 million small businesses, one big day”.

It is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and, although the focus is on one day, the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses by changing mind-sets so that people aim to support small businesses all year round.

“Most people in this country own a small business, work for a small business or know somebody who does so supporting a small business on Small Business Saturday is personal and means you are supporting somebody you know,” explains National Campaign Director, Michelle Ovens.

“The Small Business Saturday campaign plays a valuable role in focusing the minds of consumers and business people on what small businesses in any sector or line of business can offer in terms of range of products and services and levels of customer service.”

American Express originally founded the hugely successful ‘Small Business Saturday’ initiative in the U.S. in 2010 and remains the Founding Supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small. The campaign benefits from the backing of leading business organisations including the Association of Convenience Stores, Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association and the Federation of Small Businesses.

small business saturday logo 2015 blue (2)What’s in it for small businesses?

 The campaign exists as a nationwide promotional and marketing tool for small businesses, something for business owners to join up with and use for the benefit of their own small business. It is totally free to participate and all and any small businesses can get involved, from one-man-bands, through to a high growth office, and from tradesmen to social media gurus. In addition to the campaign itself, the team also delivers help and advice alongside opportunities to connect with other small businesses. In short, Small Business Saturday exists to support, inspire and promote small businesses.

And if your business doesn’t trade on a Saturday, don’t worry. Small Business Saturday has events, workshops and support networks happening all year round and we also encourage small business owners to plan something on the Friday before Small Business Saturday, if it works better for them. So, whatever your business, whatever your size, whatever stage you are at – if you are a small business, the campaign exists to help you.

How can you get involved?

 Small Business Saturday 2015 will be even bigger than before.  Whether you have supported the campaign for the last two years, already have activities planned, or are getting involved for the first time this year here are some ideas of how to support and get involved with the campaign.

  • Logos, digital banners, a social media guide and lots more are available on our website and are available for you to download at smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com. Display them on your website or on your premises.
  • Team up with other like-minded businesses either in your local area or your sector and create a Small Business Saturday map of participating businesses. We have found that small businesses working together can often make more of a splash than those trying to work alone.
  • Host entrepreneur events or workshops in your area or your sector to focus on best practice and share new ideas.
  • Talk to your local or trade media about how your business will be getting involved with Small Business Saturday – we can help you out with press release templates.
  • Many MPs are supporting the campaign again, so invite your local MP to visit your business.
  • Create a business blog with advice, articles, success stories, local business news or profiles. Perhaps invite other small businesses to contribute guest blogs, which you can then share across your social media platforms.
  • Be sure to link to the Small Business Saturday website. Join our Facebook page and Twitter feed and encourage other small businesses to do so. Our social feeds are really interactive and you can great advice from small business owners like you there.
  • Network, share ideas and team up for Small Business Saturday. Use the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK. Follow Small Business Saturday UK on Facebook. ‘Like’ & ‘Share’ our videos, images & blog posts. Create & upload videos yourself.

Nationwide Bus Tour

Visit the website for details of this year’s Small Business Saturday UK Bus Tour to see if it is coming to a town near you. The bus tour will run for the entire month of November, stopping at 27 towns and cities on its journey to all four corners of the UK. There are always opportunities for small businesses on the route of the bus tour to exhibit their business at the bus in a high footfall, city centre location. Your business could even benefit from the publicity generated by the bus tour in local, regional and national media throughout its duration. You could also take part in workshops and seminars for small businesses and those considering starting their own business.

More Information

More information is available at www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturdayuk and on Twitter @smallbizsatuk.