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Small Business Tour Comes To Town

Guildford's brilliant independent businesses will be celebrated in the Small Business virtual tour on Monday 30 November, as we continue to support our local economy through the Coronavirus pandemic.

The online tour - actually called Small Business Saturday, although it lasts five weeks - zooms into Guildford to offer support and mentoring for small businesses and communities affected by the pandemic with a programme of advice and workshops specifically designed for the town. To get involved, small businesses should follow the Small Business Saturday Facebook page. Online one-to-one mentoring sessions and workshops with local experts can be booked via https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/my-small-business.

The tour ends on Saturday 5 December with the annual Small Business Saturday event, giving the perfect opportunity for residents and visitors to support Guildford's independent businesses after many shops re-open following the easing of government restrictions on Wednesday 2 December.

Lead Councillor for the Economy, Cllr John Redpath says:

"We are delighted to support Small Business Saturday's Virtual Tour, and welcome them to Guildford at a time when we are providing even more help for local businesses. Any local rate-paying business which has had to close since Thursday 5 November is invited to apply to us for a 'Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)' of up to £3,000, even if they are already receiving rate relief.

"We have already distributed over £23 million in support grants, provided business rate relief to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and accessed the government's Reopening High Streets Safely Fund to help our town centre to open safely and securely."

He continues: "We invite all businesses to get in touch as we may be able to help in other ways, including through our assistance to help businesses follow new licensing guidelines. We have also been working with the Community Foundation for Surrey's Coronavirus Response Fund, as the Mayor of Guildford's chosen charity for 2020, to match fund any donations to support local charities and voluntary organisations helping vulnerable, elderly and isolated members of the community. Businesses can also get information and support through the Enterprise M3 Growth Hub at https://www.enterprisem3growthhub.co.uk/."

Liv Pattullo, Project Manager at Experience Guildford says:

"National campaigns like Small Business Saturday are fantastic ways to increase awareness of our thriving independent business community, so it's fantastic that Guildford has been chosen as a stop on the virtual tour. We know that consumers' shopping habits have changed, and that people realise that where we shop matters not just to individual business owners but to our town as a whole. We have over 140 independent businesses in the town centre so residents are spoilt for choice if they want to support local businesses this Christmas and beyond."

Michelle Ovens, Director of Small Business Saturday UK says:

"This year has been incredibly tough for small businesses - financially, operationally, mentally and emotionally. This means our mission to support and celebrate small businesses across the UK becomes even more vital and ambitious. I would encourage small businesses in Guildford and across Surrey to get involved in The Tour. As well as offering fantastic support and networking opportunities, it will also be a lot of fun."

The Small Business Saturday UK Facebook page will stream insights and mentoring from business and political leaders as part of the Virtual Tour, along with a fun-filled 'Happy Hour' offering some great prizes. The five-week tour, which visits 33 towns and cities across the UK, culminates with Small Business Saturday on 5 December. A grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in 2010.

Published on Friday 27 November.