Town shows support for ‘Small Business Saturday’

TEAM EFFORT: Nat Sharp – centre – with small business colleagues

SMALL businesses across the borough came together last Saturday (December 2) for ‘Small Business Saturday’, a nationwide initiative encouraging consumers to shop locally and support small businesses in their communities.

In Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark MP visited a number of independents, while the Economic Development Team from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) spoke to residents and marketing expert Nat Sharp, from Sharp Thinking Marketing put on a free event to support small business owners in the area.

Mr Clark visited four different businesses across the borough – The Earl Grey Tea Rooms in Southborough, Simla Cuisine in Paddock Wood, The Cheese Shop in St John’s and Hammonds Butchers in Matfield – and chatted to the small business owners and encouraged local support.

Despite the freezing temperatures, TWBC’s Economic Development Team were out and about in the town centre on Saturday engaging with residents and visitors.

The team, which launched a business spotlight series on their @LoveLocal_TW Instagram to showcase businesses across the borough, hosted a ‘How well do you know Tunbridge Wells?’ Quiz, while they were out and about meeting people. Prizes for winners were sourced from local businesses including Glass by Claudia, The TN card, Fuggles, The Silver Sheep and St Kilda.

The Economic Development Team also attended Sharp Thinking Marketing founder Nat Sharp’s Small Business Sessions on Friday December 1.

Nat said her event surpassed expectations, providing invaluable support and insight to small business owners.

Nat’s goal, inspired by her ‘SmallBiz100’ selection in September, was to offer practical advice to local businesses, creating a business clinic tailored to their unique needs. By bringing a team of local experts from various business professions, people were able to pre-book short 30-minute slots for consultations, breaking down barriers for those who couldn’t afford or felt intimidated by professional advice.

The free event brought together a diverse group of local professionals, from fledgling start-ups to established businesses seeking growth, fostering connections and encouraging collaboration.

With over 30 business owners attending and approximately 50 slots filled among seven experts, including Emma Jefferys (Action Woman), Lucy Ames (Smartist Social Media), Jack Sales (TN Accountancy), Jennifer Cooper (Jennifer Cooper Timesaver), Georgina Edwards (GE Brand Photography), Dominic Potts (Full Pivot) and Nat Sharp (Sharp Thinking Marketing), along with volunteers Angela Ward, Vicki Thornhill and David Smith, the event was a resounding success, with 100 per cent satisfaction rating from attendees.

The Small Business Session was then taken online on Small Business Saturday itself, with Nat continuing to support local businesses. A further seven businesses benefited from expert marketing advice, demonstrating the continued need for this style of event.

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