Rain doesn’t dampen spirits at Winter Festival

Rain hasn’t dampened shoppers spirits as festive cheer rings out in the Market Place for the Small Business Saturday Winter Festival.

Our first Winter Festival in the town, we teamed up with East Staffordshire Borough Council to bring independent businesses together to celebrate the start of the festive shopping season and mark the national movement designed to encourage shoppers to think local this Christmas.

Music rang out as the Music Academy for School Brass Bands started off the day of entertainment with festive songs. It was followed by Saxophonist Kevin Goodall, singer Monica Dunbar, Jaimi Shrive on guitar, the StageScreen and Vocal Intuition Young Singers and Crescendo Vocal.

It was a first for the town as businesses came together to showcase their wares and inspire shoppers to think local as part of Small Business Saturday which saw £750 million spent in local independent businesses on the day last year.

Elaine Pritchard, of Caittom Publishing and one of three businesses that make up our team said it was great to see the town’s independent businesses coming together to celebrate Small Business Saturday.

She said: “As a group we are proud to support the national Small Business Saturday movement. The Winter Festival was a first for the town and it was great to have local groups showing their support as well as such a mixture of businesses.”

The winners of the People’s Business Awards were also unveiled on stage at 1pm with Press Coffee and Hardy Signs collecting their awards from Mayor of East Staffordshire Councillor Chris Smith alongside runners up Lifestyle Hair, a barber’s shop in Market Place going the extra mile for its customers and commercial and private law firm Else Solicitors.

The People’s Business Awards received nearly 400 nominations this year from people looking to celebrate their favourite business. The nominations were then reviewed by a judging panel with the awards themselves sponsored by Chameleon School of Construction and handcrafted by local artist Anna Roebuck, who owns The Making House, in Winshill.

Small Business Saturday is celebrated on the first Saturday of December every year as a way of encouraging shoppers to think local. The event was the first Winter Festival which brought together stalls both inside and outside the Market Hall.

Scorpion Entertainment also provided staging, working with Cotton Transport, so that local acts could perform throughout the day.

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