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East Midlands Chamber News

Mayor of the City of Derby joins celebration of small businesses

On Saturday 1st December, the Derby business community united to celebrate Small Business Saturday UK at the University of Derby’s Enterprise Centre.

Over 100 local independent companies attended the event with those exhibiting ranging from new start-ups to established names in the local business community; all uniting to highlight and celebrate the success of small businesses in Derby and the surrounding area.

This came following a momentous week for one of the champions of small business in Derby. Yvonne Gorman (Managing Director of Essential Print Services, Small Business Saturday UK Champion) plays a key role in organising the Small Business Saturday UK events in Derby and was invited to Downing Street on Wednesday 28th November in recognition of her work for the cause.

Yvonne commented: “It’s been quite the week for small business in Derby! It was an absolute honour to represent the city and the companies within it when I was invited to Downing Street. This was the fifth Small Business Saturday UK to be held in Derby and it was our biggest and best yet! It was great to see so many people from the local business community celebrating each other’s successes and championing the great things that we can achieve by working together.”

The Small Business Saturday UK event was opened by The Mayor of the City of Derby, Councillor Mike Carr, who was joined by Pauline Latham OBE MP, and Margaret Beckett DBE MP. It was supported The University of Derby, which enabled attendance to be completely free.

Delegates had opportunity to network and showcase their businesses before attending a series of talks, presentations and discussions which began with a welcome from Julie Stone, Head of the University of Derby Online Learning and Martin Jinks, Partner of Nelsons Solicitors.

Martin commented “it was the most productive four hours of support being given to small businesses and celebration of their work in Derby I have ever witnessed. Nelsons were proud to have been involved and join in the sponsorship of the event. It has re-energised us in our continuing support for local businesses.”

The University of Derby are pleased to support Small Business Saturday UK. It was fabulous to see so many businesses at our Enterprise Centre on Saturday. Many of those businesses are run and staffed by our alumni, for example Ask The Chameleon one of this year’s top 100. This makes us extremely proud. Our students also volunteered on the day , including students from the marketing society that covered all the social media on the day. We are committed to supporting business across the city, county and region and are looking forward to working with Yvonne and the Small Business Saturday team over the next year,” said Bev Crighton, External Engagement Lead at University of Derby.

Guest speaker, Rachel Hayward from Ask The Chameleon, then spoke about her experiences as a small business and her recent success as being selected as one of this year’s Small Biz Sat 100. This was followed by a lively panel Q&A session and then 45 second pitches from ten companies, which were randomly selected to be Golden Ticket holders and to have the opportunity to present their businesses to all visitors.

Support for the campaign came from 90% of local councils including Derby City Council who offered free car parking at the city’s Chapel Street Car Park on the day.

Small Business Saturday UK is a government backed initiative. It is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which celebrates small business success and encourages consumers to 'shop local' and to support businesses in their communities.

To find out more about the event and to see photos, join the local Small Business Saturday UK team on the Facebook group; search ‘Small Business Derby” or follow @smallbizderby on Twitter.

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