So size really does matter for the small businessman

Independent shops in Chorley town centre.
Independent shops in Chorley town centre.

Chorley’s independent traders are gearing up to go big – for a Small celebration.

They will be marking the first ever Small Business Saturday in the UK.

Chorley Traders’ Alliance has lined up a town crier, street entertainment, a brass band and a host of activities to help promote the event on

December 7.

The scheme was first launched in the US and people are encouraged to swap the high street and internet shopping for at least one day to support small businesses in the run-up to Christmas.

In America, the last Small Business Saturday – held to coincide with Thanksgiving – generated $5.5bn of sales and the campaign is used as a way for small businesses to promote themselves and generate trade.

Malcolm Allen, chairman of the Alliance, said: “This is the first time that Small Business Saturday has ever been held in the UK and it’s a fantastic initiative.

“If everyone just spent £5 at an independent shop rather than at a big chain store or online, then it would make a huge difference and support local businesses that provide local jobs.

“Chorley is built on the success of the market and independent traders.

“In fact, more than 73 per cent of shops in the town are run by independent retailers, compared to 43 per cent regionally.

“This has meant that while the town has seen big names leave, we still have an exceptionally low rate of empty shops at just 4.76 per cent when the national average is 14 per cent. We have a fantastic choice of shops in the town and people will be able to find great gifts while exploring what Chorley has to offer.”

Also on the day will be face painting and the winner of the hunt for the Gingerbread Man trail will be drawn.

The competition, which has top prizes including a rocking horse, electric motorbike and vouchers to spend across the town, is free to enter and will run until 3.30pm on December 7.

The winner will be drawn at Malcolm’s Musicland, Chapel Street, at 4pm.