27 local councils to offer free parking on Small Business Saturday

A total of 27 local councils have so far agreed to offer free parking on Small Business Saturday next month, following a request from national small business group, Forum of Private Business.

Small Business Saturday UK, which takes place on Saturday December 7, will celebrate small businesses across the UK. It is the culmination of a campaign to encourage communities to shop local and support their small businesses.

Last month the Forum wrote to local authorities across the UK asking them to waive parking fees in support of the inaugural event. Following the group’s letter, 27 have agreed.

Commenting on the response, Forum of Private Business chief executive Phil Orford said: “Free parking is a proven benefit to small businesses. Parking charges discourage many consumers from shopping on the high street, diminishing small businesses’ customer base. The Forum believes removing these charges will help generate the conditions needed to make Small Business Saturday UK a great success.

“The response from many councils has been really encouraging. It’s great to see local authorities are prepared to take this step to support their local small business community. We may have just 27 so far, but we hope many more will follow suit.”

The Forum has written again to those councils who did not respond to the initial request, to urge them to follow the examples of their council colleagues in other parts of the country and offer free parking.

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: “Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity for small businesses and has the government’s full support. I’m pleased to see local councils across the whole country, from Chesterfield to Cornwall and Selby to Stevenage, are showing real support by waiving parking charges, and I hope many more councils will follow their example.”

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