Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Idlewells celebrates local independent businesses as part of Small Business Saturday

Idlewells celebrates local independent businesses as part of Small Business Saturday

Sutton-in-Ashfield shopping centre Idlewells has joined the UK in celebrating the breadth of local small business success as part of the nationwide Small Business Saturday campaign.

Now in its eighth year in the UK, the initiative championed by American Express continues to gain momentum each year with an estimated £800m spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday in 2019. Last year also marked a record turnout for the event, with 17.6m people choosing to shop small on the day.

The initiative started in the US in 2010 and American Express continues to be the principal supporter of the UK campaign year-on-year.

Idlewells supports a number of small businesses both across the town of Sutton-in-Ashfield and within the centre, with independent shops such as Material Girl, Lily’s Cards, Clusters and Morgan’s Sweets trading under its roof.

Centre Manager Chloe O’Donnell met with Ashfield MP Lee Anderson as well as a number of independent retailers at Idlewells on Saturday 5th December to celebrate and raise awareness of this year’s Small Business Saturday.

As Chloe goes on to explain, it’s a crucial time for the centre to get behind local independents and support their efforts.

“The goal of Small Business Saturday is to raise awareness and promote local business success and at Idlewells, we recognise the difference that putting the spotlight on these retailers will make to them and their short and long-term prosperity,”

Chloe continues, “It’s vital for the public to shop local this year more than ever because of the tough financial climate we find ourselves in. Our independent retailers play a huge part in creating variety at Idlewells - from the market traders selling produce to gift and clothing shops. Shopping local and engaging with small businesses either in person or online will go a long way towards ensuring that our high streets continue to thrive.”

Of Idlewells’ 39 retailers, 20% are independent. This does not take into account its market traders within its indoor market, where another 25 independent sellers are situated.

“Over the years, Idlewells has nursed local people through the steps of starting up their own business,” adds Chloe. “This includes supporting them when settling into a unit, advising them on information such as cash flow and supply chains and generally looking out for their long-term welfare. Material Girl and Lily’s Cards are great examples of where Idlewells has been by their side from the very start and given them that much needed opportunity to succeed.”

This is not the first time Idlewells has been part of a campaign to back small businesses after the centre was part of Sutton-in-Ashfield’s Shop Local initiative in 2020.

“With our support, we’ve seen a number of retailers move up through the ranks - starting off selling from home or on an outdoor market stall before going to our indoor market and finally, having a shop unit of their own. Competing with national chains is tough for these businesses and very few shopping centres are as committed to taking small independents on this journey as we are. It's something we’re incredibly proud of because these retailers are the heartbeat of Sutton-in-Ashfield and towns like it.”

Darren Gilbert, owner of Glitterbox at Idlewells, is grateful to the work of Chloe and the team and hopes that the initiative will help in seeing retailers such as himself through a tough period.

“It’s been a very hard year but the continued support of the public in the town, as well as groups and initiatives such as Small Business Saturday, have given us a much needed boost at a time when we need it most.”

“Small retailers are the backbone of the high street and if they were no longer there, it would certainly leave a big hole to fill.”

To find out more about Idlewells Shopping Centre, visit 

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