The vital services still being offered by small shops in towns and villages throughout the country is being underlined in Moray and throughout the UK this weekend.
Small Business Saturday UK aims for the second successive year to highlight the importance for local economies of small businesses.
This year the campaign hopes that the millions spent during the inaugural Small Business Saturday last year will be topped this weekend.
Many shops throughout Moray will be offering special 10% discounts on all goods – shops such as the Crafty Gifts and DIY store in Lossiemouth, where owner Natasha McCrae said: “Like many small shops in Moray we are delighted to be taking part in this national event.
“The recession has made it very difficult for small businesses around the country and Moray has not escaped that – but there are signs that we are fighting back, that people are again realising that there are unusually gifts to be had a lot closer to home than expected.”
The national initiative is being supported by the Federation of Small Businesses, for whom Andy Willox said: “It doesn’t matter if you’re putting in an order for Christmas dinner, buying a gift for a loved one or meeting a friend for a coffee or beer, we’d love it if Scots supported Small Business Saturday for a second year.
“Independent retailers and other small enterprises often offer goods and services which you can’t find elsewhere.
“Small Business Saturday offers a real opportunity to connect phenomenal small businesses with locals who perhaps aren’t aware of the great small businesses on their doorstep.”
The MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, whose constituency includes Buckie, is also encouraging people to support their local shops: “I am very happy to be supporting Small Business Saturday. Small businesses are at the heart of Scotland’s economy and it is vitally important that we back them by shopping local whenever we can.”
Meanwhile Forres shops will once again be putting on a special show for the special day, inviting shoppers to be on the lookout for special early festive offers throughout the town.
In Elgin a new venture has also chosen Saturday as their opening day. Crafted, a new shop providing an outlet for over 40 Moray craft workers, will open their doors on 85 High Street for the first time.