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Call for free parking ahead of first Small Business Saturday


Councils are being urged to waive parking charges in support of the UK’s first Small Business Saturday, which is due to take place on 7 December.


The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has written to local authorities to ask them to consider removing parking charges on the day of the event, in a bid to encourage more visitors to the area.


The lobby group has previously voiced concerns over costly parking charges in local town centres, which it argues is deterring shoppers and contributing to the decline of the High Street.


Small Business Saturday will be held on one of the busiest shopping days of the year and is designed to encourage people to shop locally and support small businesses in their communities.


The initiative was introduced to the UK by the Shadow Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna, and emulates the Small Business Saturday celebration already held in the US.


Chief Executive of the FPB, Phil Orford MBE, said: ‘Small businesses make up the grass roots of our membership and are at the heart of every local community. To make it a real success everyone needs to play their part and local councils have a key role to play in removing one of the barriers for small businesses.’


Meanwhile, Michelle Ovens from Small Business Saturday UK, welcomed the business group’s call for action. ‘Free parking is a great way to encourage more people into town centres on 7 December, and we are really excited to hear about more and more councils coming on board to offer this,’ she commented.