New businesses are being given a chance to set up shop in Wellingborough town centre on Saturday.
A shop in Market Street will be turned over to a number of small businesses and local craftspeople as part of the national Small Business Saturday campaign, which encourages people to buy local.
Already a multi-billion pound phenomenon in America, Small Business Saturday is coming to the UK for the first time on December 7, which is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
The aim is to promote the benefits of supporting local, community businesses, and to help organisations increase sales and long-term custom.
In Wellingborough, the council is opening up 17 Market Street, one of its two vacant retail units, to showcase local entrepreneurs and business owners.
The young enterprise team from Sir Christopher Hatton Academy, who are taking part in a programme to set up and run a business for a year, will also be there to demonstrate their ideas and products, and anyone interested in starting a business can pop in to get advice and support from the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership.
Cllr Tim Allebone, chairman of the council’s development committee, said: “Small, local businesses are the lifeblood of our economy.
“In America, Small Business Saturday has generated billions of pounds of sales and a huge amount of awareness for these businesses and we are hoping to replicate that here in the UK.
“We’re offering the use of a high-profile town centre shop to give businesses a taste of what it’s like to trade in such a prominent location, and for the public to realise what’s available if they shop local.
“We have a lot of creative and innovative independent businesses here and we hope by championing them on Saturday we can help them thrive both on the day and into the future.”
Adding to the festive cheer on what’s earmarked to be the busiest Christmas shopping day, Wellingborough’s Business Improvement District (BID) is running a treasure hunt for people to spot black dots in the windows of Cambridge Street shops.
The BID has teamed up with the theatre to promote the pantomime, with scratch cards also available offering 101 prizes for local shoppers.
The BID’s Christmas market will also be open on the day, and will continue to run until December 21.
The council’s Small Business Saturday Market Street shop will be open between 9am and 1pm.