Small Business Saturday

Posted on 7th December 2014

As you can see by my photo taken at 11am yesterday, the crowds flocked to the Top Of Town Basingstoke for Small Business Saturday, making the most of the bargains on offer and supporting small business owners.

Pow – Take that Festival Place!

Zzonk – Take that Amazon!

As I made my way through the frantic crowds cursing another yet another event imported from the US to help “Mom and Pop” stores, I found myself mumbling about whether it’s even worth trying to revive the high street. Let’s just confine it to DAVE and reminisce between episodes of Top Gear and Are You Being Served.

We all think we know what it takes to bring back the good old days of a bustling high street – and I’ve sat in plenty of meetings listening to people who think they know the answer. But if the flame-haired high street guru Mary Portas can’t do it, I’m not so sure a blue badge and a bunch of well-meaning organisations with zero business experience is going to have much impact either.

On Friday, Basingstoke Council made a worthwhile attempt to lure people to the area by using the Market Square area. There were carols, reindeers and other feel-good goings on… and bigger crowds there than I’ve seen for a long time.

I walked past around 5pm on Friday to witness the grand arrival of Santa Clause entering the square to the delight of the youngsters…


And I shit-you-not…


People were laughing.

I was looking for Peter Kaye getting ready to shout “AAAAAND CUT!”

When Push Comes To Shove

People don’t care about small businesses and big businesses. They want what THEY want. Why go to the pound shop when you can save money by heading over to the 99p store?

People don’t even care if global corporations like Amazon hide themselves behind tax laws paying 1p on the £1million as long as they get the latest gadget or perfume 20p cheaper with free delivery – by tomorrow.

Forget the fact that the tax pounds would find themselves going back into the UK economy.

“That’s politics though in’t’it and they’re all just a bunch of money-grabbing liars – not like us normal people!”

It’s an integrated world baby and the high street as we knew it isn’t coming back. I can now order online and collect my purchase from a locker in a shopping centre. Eh????

So, I shall raise a cup of £3 cappuccino in Festival Place Nero’s and raise a toast to the memory of the high street and why other people who don’t use it are to blame. If I can peel myself away from my iPad as a finish off my Xmas Amazon order.

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