A selection of the best small businesses in Rochdale came together for a special celebration of their unique contribution to local life, with a visit from the national Small Business Saturday bus.
Rochdale was 1 of only 29 stops across the UK to receive a visit from the Small Business Saturday bus, which stopped off to offer FREE expert advice to businesses and celebrate their success.
Many of the Rochdale 30, local independent businesses who nominated themselves as part of the borough's celebration of Small Business Saturday, gathered at the bus, before receiving a special thankyou from the council for their hard work.
'There are more than 5 million small businesses in the UK which together employ more than 25 million people'
Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mohammed Zaman, said: "There are more than 5 million small businesses in the UK, which together employ more than 25 million people. Small businesses are so important because they grow our local the economy and create jobs, and this is our way of saying thanks. It's great to see many of the Rochdale 30 here today and I would love to see more local businesses get involved in campaigns like this."
Sarah Rennie, owner of Alkrington-based Advextra VA Ltd, which offers virtual PA and administration services, said: "It's great to have events like this because you can get your name out there and network with other businesses. I really like the fact that Rochdale Council is supportive of small businesses like me and I'm already accessing some FREE support, as part of the council-funded Mi-ventures programme."
'It's great that the council wants to help small businesses create jobs' - local businesswoman, Abi Greenhalgh
Abi Greenhalgh, who runs Nest Financial Services, said: "I'm Rochdale born and bred, so I think it's really important to put something back and help make the town a success. The business is just me at the moment, but within 5 years, I want to employ 5 more people. Businesses like mine will employ people in the years to come, so they have more opportunities in their local area. The small businesses that are here today really want to help make Rochdale a better place and it's great to see that the council is totally behind us on this."
The event is part of the Rochdale Loves Small Business campaign, run by local businesswoman Ruth Pringle and supported by the council. The campaign is the borough's celebration of Small Business Saturday, a national campaign to promote independent businesses up and down the country.
'Small Business Saturday will be celebrated on Saturday, 2 December 2017'
Small Business Saturday takes place on Saturday, 2 December 2017 this year and Rochdale will be marking it with a special Christmas craft fair in the Exchange shopping centre, which will showcase a selection of the borough's independent retailers.
Councillor Richard Farnell, leader of the council, said: "Small businesses are so important because they will create the jobs of the future and that's why we're creating the conditions for them to thrive. We've already seen great success with our business rates sale and property renovation grants and we've just built the first of 40 new micro units at good rents and flexible terms to help growing businesses in our borough."
Businesses which would like to find out more about council support can visit: rochdale.gov.uk/businessPeople who would like to find out more about the Small Business Saturday campaign in Rochdale can visit Rochdale Loves Small Businesses on Facebook.