Those doing their Christmas shopping this weekend have been asked to visit their local retailers as part of a national campaign.
The second Small Business Saturday takes place tomorrow (Saturday).
The campaign highlights the success of smaller retailers on a national level and encourages people to visit their local shops on the first shopping Saturday in December each year. It aims to have a lasting effect and boost footfall in town centres.
High profile figures have backed the campaign, including Stamford and Bourne MP Nick Boles (Con). He said: “It is vital that we continue to support our local high street and businesses as they create jobs and bring life to our towns and villages.
“I will be out in Stamford on Saturday doing some Christmas shopping at Tanya Vaughan in St George’s Square and encourage shoppers to take advantage of this campaign.”
In Rutland, the county council is backing Small Business Saturday by offering free parking in all its car parks in Oakham and Uppingham, apart from Burley Road car park, from 10am tomorrow.
Deputy leader and portfolio holder for development Terry King (Con) said: “Oakham and Uppingham are home to a fantastic array of small, independent businesses which add tremendous value to our local economy, not to mention the wider community.
“We hope people will make the most of the opportunity to park for free on December 6 and support local traders – especially in the run-up to Christmas.”
The council said it hoped to share the associated costs with both town councils and partnerships, along with Uppingham First.
Among the retailers that have confirmed they will take part in Small Business Saturday is Londis, which has franchised branches in Stamford, Tallington and Kates Bridge.
Retail director John Pattison said: “Our members own stores at the heart of their communities, providing essential goods and services at times when major stores are usually closed. Small Business Saturday gives us a chance to celebrate what we do - because we know that when people spend money locally, the whole economy benefits.”