Last Saturday saw Brixton’s second Small Business Saturday – an annual event run by a grassroots campaign encouraging people to shop in local, small, independent businesses across the country.
Among the hundreds of shoppers, Paul Melbourne undoubtedly got the most bang for his Brixton bucks, having won B£250 for signing up the most people to the currency’s “pay-by-text” service in the month leading up to the event. Everyone else using the Brixton Pound had to content themselves with a multitude of special offers from hundreds of local businesses.
As well as promoting Brixton’s small enterprises and keeping wealth within the community, Small Business Saturday seeks to stimulate a range of wider social benefits associated with a strong, diverse and resilient local economy. As its latest research shows, people living in areas with many small, independent shops are twice as likely to say “hello” to people on the street or strike up a conversation with someone they don’t know; 25% are on first-name-terms with their local shop owners and 13% consider them friends (compared to only 3% of people living in “clone towns”); and 64% of people consider locally-run high streets the “heart of their communities”, against only 17% in areas dominated by chain stores.
As Kate Hardcastle, retail expert and supporter of Small Business Saturday, said:
“We’ve long known that small businesses make a big contribution to their local economies (…) They are not just selling fantastic goods and services, they also play an integral and broader role supporting local people and showing real community spirit.”
The Brixton Pound have been able to run Small Business Saturday thanks to EU funding supplied through CCIA, a transnational project designing, developing and implementing community currencies throughout North Western Europe.
Download the original press release below.
Tags: Brixton £ in Lambeth