SHOPPERS are being encouraged to make sure they think “small” ahead of their Christmas shopping tomorrow.

Small Business Saturday takes place tomorrow and business bosses say it’s a chance to grab some festive bargains.

Launched in the UK in 2013, Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to “shop local”.

Suzanne Gloyne, Southend Business Improvement District manager, said: “It’s something everyone should support, as it’s an opportunity to spend money with independent businesses up and down the High Street and seafront.

“The town centre has loads of family-run shops, restaurants cafes and bars, plus hairdressers and leisure venues in which you’ll find not only fantastic products and services, but also wonderful, knowledgeable and passionate people too.

“Whether you’re meeting a friend for lunch in Tomassi’s, getting a trim in Roman’s Barbers or taking the kids to Winter Wonderland at Adventure Island, you’ll be supporting local businesses and the people they employ.”

In a bid to promote the event even more, firms taking part in Small Business Saturday are also expected to have a number of deals and promotions to tempt customers.

The BID manager added: “Southend’s High Street is an important social hub for our community.

“It is instrumental in bringing people together, acting as a meeting place for friends and families and supporting jobs for local people.”

Ms Gloyne added: “The changing nature of retail in the 21st century is challenging for our businesses, as they face increased competition from out-of-town shopping complexes and online.

“So, initiatives like Small Business Saturday are vitally important, to ensure that our town centre can flourish.”

There will be offers Caddies and the Royal Hotel, both of which are on the High Street.

Caddies has Santa making a series of appearances between midday and 5pm on Saturday, with Festive Cocktail Specials for the grown-ups running from 6pm in the evening. Don’t miss their delicious Gingerbread Hot Tub, which blends Bailey’s, Double Cream, Gingerbread and Cinnamon!

The Royal Hotel is also serving specially-created Christmas cocktails, for a tasty £10 for two, between 5pm and 7pm. Later, there will also be a DJ playing a live set (from 10pm) to get the Christmas party started.

There will be free car parking all day in car parks near the town centre, including those in llfracombe Avenue and North Road.

Firms across the town have also been invited to take part in the ‘Best Festive Business’ competition, which launched on Saturday, November 16 2019.

More than 20 entries have already been received from a wide variety of companies, including solicitors, pubs, hotels, salons and shops.

Visit the ‘Biz-on-Sea Network’ page on Facebook to see photos of the current entries and vote for your favourite.

For more information, go to, like the Facebook page VisitSouthendonSea or follow @VisitSouthend on Twitter.