Celebrating small businesses

A number of well-known personalities joined forces recently to pay tribute to small business owners whose dedication to their local communities was honoured at online event Indie Business Live.

Celebrating small businesses

A number of well-knownpersonalities joined forces recently to pay tribute to small business ownerswhose dedication to their local communities was honoured at online event Indie Business Live.

Celebrities from all walks of life came together last week to celebrate the UK’s small business community. From TV’s Eamonn Holmes and Rory Bremner, to politicians Yvette Cooper and Robert Buckland, many well-known names and faces were unanimous in their praise for the millions of small business owners around the country.

Because of the deadly Covid-19 virus, which has completely decimated many businesses during the first seven months of 2020, it has been a tougher year than normal for the majority of small UK companies.

To celebrate the vital role played by the UK’s 5.82m small businesses, thousands of people logged-on to participate in IndieBusiness Live, an online festival organised by entrepreneur Kate Hardcastle. This nine-hour (10am-7pm) extravaganza took place on Thursday July 30th following a publicity campaign that attracted 1.75m people online.

Over 1,000 small businesses were involved and its founder Kate Hardcastle was delighted with the success of this event. Kate, a TV business and consumer expert, said: We’ve engaged thousands of businesses and brought together partners from every sector, to provide not only a celebration but a voice that truly represents all small businesses. We’ve had phenomenal support from our guests, who all gave their time for free, as well as businesses, the public and MPs. This shows just how much our small businesses matter and we won’t let them disappear as a result of the pandemic.

Impressionist and comedian Rory Bremner championed local theatre, while Eamonn Holmes explained how small businesses made him feel like a person, rather than a number. Other celebrity guests included Carol Smillie, Sally Lindsay, Amanda Byram and Hannah Cockroft.

During proceedings, this online event paid tribute to the work and success of a number of the UK’s small business owners. These included Mr and Mrs Javed, who run a corner shop in Falkirk. The husband and wife team spent thousands of pounds of their own money to donate PPE to health workers, as well as provide food packages to the elderly.

In Nottinghamshire, plumber Dan Ford set up Heartsfor Hope, which raised thousands of pounds for local charities by making small hearts from copper piping. And in Kent, greengrocer and butcher Richard Douglas kept his local community fed by organising a home delivery service. This food was transported by local black cab drivers who remained in business thanks to Richard’s scheme.

Indie Business Live was streamed via social media channels to small businesses, to celebrate those who’d gone above and beyond in serving their customers and local communities. Among the well-known MPs to provide support were former cabinet minister Yvette Cooper, the Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland, plus Emma Hardy and Jason McCartney. Other high profile individuals to get involved were Cherie Blair, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi. The next Indie Business Live is on Thursday, November 26th. Small businesses can register for the directory, and also showcase their brands, by visiting www.indiebusiness.live

Andy Swales
Andy Swales

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