The UK’s top small businesses, including North Devon’s Business Action, receive special recognition at an exclusive House of Lords reception.
Business Action is one of this year’s Small Biz 100, chosen for its contribution to both the UK economy and its local community, ahead of this weekend’s Small Business Saturday, which will be held on 7 December.
The event presented by Lord Young of Graffham, former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Government Adviser on enterprise and small business, was hosted by principal supporter of Small Business Saturday American Express and convened business leaders from across the country to celebrate the importance of local independents in driving forward the UK economy and positively impacting society.
Television and radio presenter Zoe Hardman supported the event, where she spoke about her personal connection with her local small businesses. Director of Small Business Saturday Michelle Ovens MBE and American Express vice-president of Merchant Services Thelma Delapeña also addressed attendees.
The 2019 Small Biz 100 is drawn from every corner of the UK, and reflects the vibrancy of the UK’s 5.8 million small businesses. In the 100 days running up to Small Business Saturday, the campaign has spotlighted each of the Small Biz 100, as part of its mission to celebrate small business success and encourage the nation to ‘shop local’ and support British small businesses.
Business Action co-publisher Alan William said: “Having launched in February this year, it’s wonderful to receive this recognition by Small Business Saturday for producing a magazine for North Devon businesses.”
Business Action co-publisher Robert Zarywacz added: “Supporting North Devon’s local businesses, especially small businesses, is one of our main aims and we will be promoting as many of them as possible on Small Business Saturday.”
Michelle Ovens MBE, director of Small Business Saturday, said: “Small Business Saturday is a vital campaign to highlight the critical role that small businesses play in fuelling the British economy. They help to drive growth across all areas of the country and act as a support system for their communities. I am delighted to be at the House of Lords with 100 heroes today, however this should not just be treated as formal recognition for the Small Biz 100, but for all 5.8 million small businesses across the UK who, day-in, day-out, have proven themselves to be capable of thriving through even the most uncertain of times.”
The House of Lords reception echoed the support for Small Business Saturday seen across Government, since the campaign came to the UK in 2013. The Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Mayor of London were among those publicly supporting the campaign in 2018, alongside more than 90% of local councils.
A grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in the USA in 2010. American Express remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourageconsumers to shop small.
Thelma De la Peña, Vice President, American Express Merchant Services UK, said: “Each and every one of the businesses featured in the Small Biz 100 have a truly inspiring story to tell and it’s wonderful to see them celebrated in this way. We’re honoured to have been principal supporter of Small Business Saturday since its inception in the UK seven years ago. We hope this important day will continue to shine a spotlight on the small businesses across the country that make such a valuable contribution to their local communities and that our Shop Small campaign will encourage shoppers to show their support all year round.”