Business & Startups

Michelle Ovens CBE on getting customers to shop local

2. Seek (free) support from bigger businesses

Small businesses need as much support as possible, and the private sector can play a huge role in the growth and journey of entrepreneurs, whether that is through sharing skills and expertise, tools, insight, or funding.

While there is existing support offered by the government through its Help to Grow programmes, Michelle also recommends seeking support from bigger businesses.

Small Business Saturday’s principal supporter in the UK is American Express, and it originally founded the campaign in the US. The brand has been championing the UK high street and encouraging consumers to shop local. American Express also has its own “Shop Small” campaign.

BT Skills for Tomorrow also plays a big role boosting small firms across the country with advice and mentoring, as an official supporter of Small Business Saturday’s UK Tour.

“The government needs to put entrepreneurship first across all areas of policy,” Ovens emphasises. “We also need to see a lot of the obstacles for small businesses removed, such as the crippling challenges of exporting to the EU.”

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