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Inverness will be first stop on the Small Business Saturday roadshow

By Calum MacLeod

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Redshank Catering is one of the Inverness firms taking part in Small Business Saturday UK.
Redshank Catering is one of the Inverness firms taking part in Small Business Saturday UK.

The Highland capital will kick start a national celebration of the UK's small businesses next week.

Independent firms in the city and across Scotland are being encouraged to join Small Business Saturday UK’s online roadshow, a nationwide virtual tour offering support and mentoring for small businesses and communities affected by the pandemic.

Launching next Monday, November 2, with a virtual visit to Inverness, the online tour will offer an intensive programme of locally targeted online advice, workshops and mentoring.

The online event will include interviews with local business owners such as Jamie Ross of Redshank Catering Company and Annorah MacKnocher of Tannorah Beauty Salon in Culduthel, who are participating in the campaign’s 2020 SmallBiz100.

Helen Ross, co-founder of Highlands-based PR agency Whale-Like-Fish will deliver a workshop on communications, while other local experts will be on hand for one-to-one mentoring.

Insights from business and political leaders will also be streamed via Small Business Saturday UK’s Facebook page. A fun "Happy Hour"will take place with prizes from Tillycroy Support Services, which delivers workplace first aid training.

The tour, which will take in 30 destinations from Inverness to Bodmin in Cornwall, will form a central part of the official countdown to Small Business Saturday on December 5. As a result ofthe pandemic, this year’s online roadshow will temporarily replace the usual Small Business Saturday UK bus tour which has been running since the campaign began.

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.

Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK, said: “This year has been incredibly tough for small businesses – financially, operationally, mentally and emotionally. This means our mission to support and celebrate small businesses across the UK becomes even more vital and ambitious. I would encourage small businesses in Inverness and across the Highlands to get involved in the tour. As well as offering fantastic support and networking opportunities, it will also be a lot of fun.”

Alan Lees, director of BT’s Enterprise unit in Scotland, the official supporter of the tour from Small Business Saturday UK said: “Despite this year being phenomenally tough for small businesses across Scotland, 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 pleased 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.”

To get involved small businesses should follow the Small Business Saturday Facebook pag e and book virtual one-to-one mentoring sessions and workshops with local experts via the ‘My Business Section’ on the Small Business Saturday website.

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