The owners of small businesses have welcomed the introduction of Small Business Saturday.
The initiative started in America and now Kettering And Wellingborough councils are helping to promote it here.
There will be a number of events in the two towns this Saturday to encourage people to support small, local businesses.
Kettering Markets offered new and existing traders a stall for just £10 under the Love Your Local Market scheme and all 40 stalls have been booked.
Council head of community services Valerie Hitchman said: “Small independent retailers, businesses and traders are the lifeblood of the communities in which we live and work, and are integral to the health of our economy.
“We are looking forward to showing people what it means to keep trade local, and highlighting the great things Kettering has to offer both to the local community and visitors all year round.”
Hayleigh Folwell, of Lollyrocket in the town’s Gold Street, welcomed the campaign.
She said: “Making the car parking free all day on Saturday will be a great help.
“Anything to encourage people to use their local small businesses is welcome.”
In Wellingborough, shoppers are being invited to take part in a treasure hunt to spot the black dots in Cambridge Street shop windows to coincide with The Castle’s production of 101 Dalmatians and with the chance to win 101 prizes.
Cambridge Street is enjoying a resurgence after a few years of decline.
Gerry Adkins runs Adkins, a bike shop and workshop in the street.
He said: “My family has had the shop for 90 years and we’ve seen some highs and lows but it’s booming again.”
American idea pays dividends
Small Business Saturday is an idea that started in America in 2010.
It came from the realisation that the first Saturday in December is the busiest shopping day of the year as people start to do their Christmas shopping in earnest.
The aim is to encourage people to shop local and support small businesses.
It is claimed that the initiative has generated the equivalent of £3.5bn in sales for small businesses in the United States despite only having been launched in 2010.