Belfast Telegraph

Shoppers urged to back Small Business Saturday

By Kathryn McGowan

Residents across North Belfast and Newtownabbey are being urged to spread some Christmas spirit by backing the first Small Business Saturday this weekend.

The UK wide campaign aims to encourage people to shop local at small businesses in their area this Saturday, December 7.

Glyn Roberts, chair of Small Business Saturday in Northern Ireland, said: "Small Business Saturday is not just a shop local campaign it is about highlighting the huge contribution all of our small businesses make to the economy in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK," he said.

"This has been a difficult year for local small businesses and independent traders and we hope that Small Business Saturday will be the start of a much needed boost for them this Christmas."

A Santa Trail in Glengormley will see Santa visit local eateries and businesses. There will also be plenty of festive activities in Lilian Bland Community Park to keep all the little shopping helpers entertained.

Alliance Councillor Andrew Webb championed the initiative at Belfast City Council's November meeting, securing full support for the event which runs for the first time this year.

"Ensuring economic development in Belfast is among my key priorities and it is essential we promote all our local traders and small businesses," he said.

The initiative also won the support of the Northern Ireland Assembly this week.

Small Business Saturday is a fantastic way for local people to show their backing for traders in the run up to Christmas and I would encourage everyone to indulge in some Christmas Shopping on December 7."

Meanwhile, Belfast City Council has continued to try to entice shoppers into the city on Sundays as well, with its month-long programme to animate the city every weekend during December.

Earlier this month, Belfast City Council agreed to commit an additional £200,000 towards the marketing of the city's retail offering in the lead up to Christmas. The package is made up of £150,000 for additional animation in and around the city centre during the festive season, and £50,000 towards additional advertising and PR activity.

Over the next few weekends, the entertainment will be extended to some of the main arterial routes in the north, south, east and west of the city.

For more information on what is happening in and around Belfast over the Christmas period, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/event For a list of all the offers available from local businesses in the Newtownabbey borough this Saturday, see www.newtownabbey.gov.uk /savelocal.

Santa is going to be all over Glengormley this Saturday, December 7, checking out what local businesses have to offer this Christmas.

You can book breakfast or brunch with Santa at The Thunderdome at 11.30am or have lunch with him at The Side Door.

Then head on for a Christmas Party at the Pavilion in Lilian Bland Community Park from 1pm – 5pm.

There will be lots of fun for all the family, including making snowy play dough animals, creating tasty reindeer food, designing a Christmas tree and take part in party games. After all the partying enjoy a well-earned snack with cookies and milk and Santa at Eden Coffee House at 3pm, first come first served, followed by a visit to Jolleys Pet Superstore with Santa at 4.15pm.

And to showcase the local businesses even further why not follow the Get into Glengormley Santa Trail. Between December 7-14 discover what's on your doorstep by visiting participating businesses and collecting a special Christmas stamp. Simply spend between £5 - £10 in store to receive your stamp. Collect 4 stamps in total, 3 from different businesses and you will be entered into a prize draw. So you could pick up come groceries at McMillens Newsagent, enjoy lunch at Café Cuisine, stock up on cold and flu remedies from Medicare and then enjoy fish and chips from Captains Table. What a great day out! Return your stamp card to Eden Coffee House by 4pm on 14 December and winners will be notified by phone on 16th December.

Participating businesses include Café Cuisine, Eden Coffee House, Head 2 Toe, InkWorld, Jolleys Pet Store, McMillens Newsagent, Medicare, Medicosmetic, Nesbitts Quality Meats, Spar Glenwell, The Captains Table and The Thunderdome.

Iain Patterson, President of Glengormley Chamber & Traders' Association says "As part of Small Business Saturday we are celebrating what Glengormley has to offer. We are bringing Santa to the town to support small businesses and encourage customers to discover what's on their doorstep this Christmas."

For more information check out www.getintoglengormley.com or www.facebook.com/getintoglengormley

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