Support Edinburgh's brilliant sector on Small Business Saturday- Lezley Marion Cameron

This Saturday marks the tenth year of Small Business Saturday in the UK. A grassroots, non-commercial campaign, it highlights small business success and encourages us to “shop local” in our communities.

Depute Lord Provost, Lezley Marion Cameron
Depute Lord Provost, Lezley Marion Cameron

Edinburgh is home to a multitude of amazing small businesses. These firms are the lifeblood of our city’s economy, support countless jobs within our communities, offer great customer service, and create vibrancy in our local shopping streets and neighbourhoods.

It is right therefore that the Council does all we can within our limited sphere of influence and funding resources to create the best city environment possible which enables business to succeed.

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In recent years, and despite funding cuts to our budgets from the Scottish Government, the Council has increased the percentage of Council spend with small businesses. Council owned companies, like the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, have also continued to procure goods and services from small businesses within their respective supply chains.

Another important way we are supporting small businesses is by making it as quick and easy as possible for residents to access these local businesses using public transport, and through our expanding active travel routes.

This is good for residents, businesses, our economy, and Edinburgh’s response to the climate emergency. It also supports the establishment of 20-Minute Neighbourhoods which will deliver more sustainable places, improve access to quality services and empower local communities. These are designed for people, to allow everyone to live, shop, work and travel more easily. They will support local employment opportunities, while promoting healthier, more accessible high streets and an inclusive economy.

Small Business Saturday is also about highlighting key achievements of our businesses.

Since Edinburgh’s accreditation as a ‘Living Wage City’ in 2021, we have seen a record- breaking increase in new accreditations with close to 120 more employers committing to pay the living wage and giving guaranteed direct pay rises to 1,400 workers across the city.

More than 580 businesses in Edinburgh are now accredited as ‘Living Wage employers’, the most of any Scottish city.

As turbulent economic times continue, supporting our small businesses as they strive to recover from the pandemic, and grapple with rising inflation, and the costs of doing business matters more than ever, and will help sustain and secure the future of many in our city’s small business sector.

The cost-of-living crisis means we are more likely to be spending less on how we celebrate Christmas, and considering what we spend, on what and from where, more closely and carefully.

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With this in mind, and on this Small Business Saturday and throughout the coming year, please let’s choose to shop local wherever we can, and proactively encourage our friends and families to do so too.

It truly does make a difference and contributes to the continuing success of Edinburgh’s brilliant small businesses.

Depute Lord Provost Cllr Lezley Marion Cameron