Small business day sees brisk trade in Harborough

Independent shops in Market Harborough said they had a very good day on Small Business Saturday last weekend.

And a survey this week revealed that people from the East Midlands were the most likely to have supported the Small Business Saturday campaign.

Megan Murray of Duncan Murray Wines in Adam and Eve Street said: “We had a bumper day.

“There’s a strong will to shop locally and independently in Harborough.”

Jacqui Harding, from Jacks for Women in Church Street, said: “We had a very good Saturday and we’ve had a very good year.

“Church Street is really buzzing at the moment.

Last Saturday was also the first of three free car parking Saturdays in Market Harborough and Lutterworth in the run up to Christmas.

Susanna Singlehurst, the manager of home interiors shop Bagel and Griff in Church Square, said: “Business-wise it was a very good day. But a lot of people didn’t know the car parking was free and didn’t see the little signs.”

Alastair Campbell, vice-president of Harborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: “Small Business Saturday is a really important thing for a town like Market Harborough with independent retailers and different types of shops”

“We’re so lucky to have such a good quality of independents in the town.”

He said he thinks Harborough has kept its thriving town centre so far for a combination of reasons.

“Harborough has a local commuter base of people who are spending time in the town at weekend,” he said.

“It’s also surprising how many people come to visit at the weekend from places like Hinckley and Rugby.

“And of course, so far, there has been little out-of-town retail development. That can send a lot of trade away.”

A survey by small business insurer, Direct Line for Business, said the main reasons people give for supporting local independent shops are convenience (58 per cent), feeling that it is important to support independent retailers (50 per cent) and trusting the quality of the product/service (28 per cent).

People from the East Midlands (54 per cent) were most likely to have supported Small Business Saturday, the report revealed.

And 60 per cent of respondents said they would buy the same product from a local independent shop instead of a national chain supermarket or store, even if it was more expensive.