Small Business Saturday call

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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is encouraging support for small businesses in the run-up to Christmas and on Small Business Saturday, December 7.

Now in its seventh year, the FSB campaign celebrates the contribution made by the UK’s 5.5 million small business owners.

Brendan Kearney, region chair of FSB Northern Ireland, said: “As we approach Christmas, now is the time for all of us to go out and celebrate our local businesses. We know that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, 63p is re-spent in the local area, compared to only 40p in every £1 spent with a chain or larger business.

“Small firms make a big difference to their community, with many going above and beyond to help their small business neighbours and local start-ups. FSB backs the Small Business Saturday campaign as a way to say a simple ‘thank you’ to small business owners in every part of the region. This is a great time to check out what small local businesses offer the whole year round. Whether you’re shopping, buying services or products, choosing where to go for a meal, or building a website - hard working, innovative small businesses are the first place you should look.”

Jack Eccles, FSB area leader, said: “I encourage everyone to think about what they can do to support those local small businesses on December 7 and all year round.”

Chris McMahon, of Café Cuisine, in Glengormley, commented: “Small businesses like ours really are vital for local communities. We’re providing a hub for local people to come together, enjoy a coffee and catch up on the news, as well as employment for 10 staff. We’re really grateful for all of our loyal customers who return time and again, and hope we can continue to grow the business in the future.”

Stephen Johnson, of Country Estates in Glengormley, added: “The main difference between a small business like ours and your big chains is that we provide exactly what our customer is looking for. You can come in and chat to us anytime, and we’ll go out of our way to make sure we deliver exactly what you need. You just don’t get that standard of service from others.”

Estate agent Garry Davison stated: “Being from Glengormley, I know the place and the people know me. Lots of my business would be returning customers as I’ve built up relationships over the years with people. It’s really important that people continue to support small businesses like ours all year round, so you have the option of working with someone who knows your area and is part of the community.”

Jack continued: “When you look at the hard work and determination of people like Chris, Stephen and Garry here in Glengormley, it’s clear to see the commitment they have to serving the needs of their local community. Small business owners are the lifeblood of the economy in the Northern Ireland, and I’m delighted to support FSB in raising the profile of the Small Business Saturday campaign this year.”