Firms across the area have called for people to do their Christmas shopping locally during a special event this weekend.
Small Business Saturday, designed to promote local firms across the country, is taking place tomorrow (December 5).
Last year plenty of businesses in the Mercury area took part, and this year will be no different.
In Stamford, Sukies Party Emporium in North Street is leading the way with a fun-filled event that should appeal to all ages. The shop will give a free balloon to all children visiting on the day, and there will be a seasonal photo booth for people to take fun pictures in. There will also be a 10 per cent discount on all costume hire bookings for New Year’s Eve.
And Rutland’s two towns have embraced the day, with events taking place in both.
Shoppers in both Oakham and Uppingham can take part in a competition across a number of shops. Stuffed animals will be placed in participating retailers for shoppers to find. They will need to go into each shops, find the animal and put its name on an entry form. Shop staff will sign the form to confirm they have been in.
The top prize is a £100 voucher to be spend in participating shops. Joint sponsors are the Small Business Federation, Oakham Town Partnership and Uppingham First, whose company secretary Ron Simpson said: “Small independent businesses are the backbone of Uppingham’s vibrant town centre and help define its unique character.
“Small Business Saturday invites shoppers to recognise that contribution to Uppingham’s success by coming into town, visiting as many shops as possible and having fun with the animal competition.
“Parking will be free and the Uppingham Hopper will be operating. By shopping local residents and visitors are making a statement. They are helping to sustain Uppingham as we know and love it.
“Uppingham First is delighted to be working with the Federation of Small Businesses, Oakham Town Partnership and Rutland County Council to mark this important annual occasion in Rutland”.
The cost of free parking in Oakham and Uppingham will be covered by Rutland County Council, Oakham Town Partnership and Uppingham First.
For more on the campaign, visit www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com.