Call for free parking ahead of first Small Business Saturday

22 Oct 2013

Councils are being urged to waive parking charges in support  of the UK’s first Small Business Saturday, which is due to take place on 7  December.

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has written to local  authorities to ask them to consider removing parking charges on the day of the  event, in a bid to encourage more visitors to the area.

The lobby group has previously voiced concerns over costly  parking charges in local town centres, which it argues is deterring shoppers  and contributing to the decline of the High Street.

Small Business Saturday will be held on one of the busiest  shopping days of the year and is designed to encourage people to shop locally  and support small businesses in their communities.

The initiative was introduced to the UK by the Shadow  Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna, and emulates the Small Business Saturday celebration  already held in the US.

Chief Executive of the FPB, Phil Orford MBE, said: ‘Small  businesses make up the grass roots of our membership and are at the heart of  every local community. To make it a real success everyone needs to play their  part and local councils have a key role to play in removing one of the barriers  for small businesses.’

Meanwhile, Michelle Ovens from Small Business Saturday UK,  welcomed the business group’s call for action. ‘Free parking is a great way to  encourage more people into town centres on 7 December, and we are really  excited to hear about more and more councils coming on board to offer this,’  she commented.

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