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Small Business Saturday launches new virtual roadshow

Small businesses across the UK are being offered a new package of support and mentoring, as Small Business Saturday UK launches an online roadshow for towns and cities affected by the pandemic.

Launching on 2nd November with daily ‘virtual visits’ to small businesses and communities in over 30 locations across the UK, Small Business Saturday UK will offer an “ambitious, vibrant and intensive” programme of locally targeted online advice, workshops and mentoring.

The virtual tour will form a “central part” of the official countdown to Small Business Saturday on 5th December, aiming to support, encourage and uplift small businesses across the country facing the challenge of a second wave of COVID-19 restrictions.

Kicking off in Scotland with a focus on Inverness, the tour will ‘zoom into’ locations across the country each weekday, reaching everywhere from city centres like Edinburgh, Manchester, London and Cardiff, to rural communities such as Pateley Bridge in the Yorkshire Dales and Bodmin in Cornwall.

Now in its eighth year in the UK, Small Business Saturday celebrates small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support businesses in their communities. Due to the pandemic, this year’s online roadshow will temporarily replace the Small Business Saturday UK bus tour which has been running since the campaign began.

“This year has been incredibly tough for small businesses – financially, operationally, mentally and emotionally,” said Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK. “This means our mission to support and celebrate small businesses across the UK becomes even more vital and ambitious.

“While we’re obviously sad not to be visiting small businesses on the ground, we are excited to use online to reach more people than ever, and bring small businesses and their communities a tremendously useful package of support. This is all part of our promise to make this year’s Small Business Saturday the best and most important one yet.”

The online roadshow will include free virtual mentoring advice on a range of topics, from digital marketing to time and money management. Live interviews and workshops with local businesses, experts, dignitaries and supporters of the campaign will also be streamed via Small Business Saturday UK’s Facebook page, along with a daily ‘Happy Hour’ giveaway broadcast.

Peter Oliver, MD SME for BT’s Enterprise unit, the official supporter of the Small Business Saturday bus tour, said: “Despite this year being phenomenally tough for small businesses across the UK, we have seen many businesses embrace the benefits that being more digital can bring; for them, their employees and their customers. To make that leap, they need support and encouragement.

“The Tour 2020 is another great initiative from the Small Business Saturday team and we’re delighted to be involved. We all have a role to play in helping our small business community and we look forward to offering mentoring support and helping them to develop their digital skills through our BT Skills for Tomorrow programme.”

Small businesses can book virtual one-to-one mentoring sessions with local experts via the ‘My Business Section’ on the Small Business Saturday website.

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