Small Business Saturday in Basingstoke this weekend!

BID to support independents in Basingstoke this weekend

Shoppers are being encouraged to love the local and independent businesses in Basingstoke this weekend to celebrate the UK-wide initiative, Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday, which takes place on Saturday 1 December, is a national celebration of the smaller and independent shops which line the UK’s high streets. Basingstoke is home to a diverse selection of shops for different and unique Christmas gifts and restaurants to take a break from the shopping frenzy.

Cool!Merchandise, photo credit Basingstoke Together

Small Business Saturday is largely viewed as the antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is dominated by the big brands. An estimated £748 million was spent on Small Business Saturday last year, making it the most successful year so far. It also has the support of growing number of local authorities, with 87% pledging their support last year.* However, Small Business Saturday still lags behind Black Friday, as we reportedly spent £7 billion during last week’s buying blitz.** Basingstoke Together, the public face of the Basingstoke BID, wants more people to embrace the town centre independents, particularly in the Top of Town, to recognise its potential as a vibrant shopping hub.

To celebrate Small Business Saturday, Basingstoke Together have created a series of short videos to put small businesses in the town under the spotlight to showcase their products and services. Independent businesses in Basingstoke have also been provided with printed hessian bags reading ‘I supported a small business in Basingstoke’ to gift to customers free of charge with any purchase.

Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “We’re lucky to have some fantastic national chains in Basingstoke, particularly in Festival Place and The Malls. But, a stone’s throw away at the top of town is the home to shops and businesses which you simply won’t find anywhere else. We hope that people in Basingstoke will support our independent and small businesses in the town centre as they do their Christmas shopping this weekend as well as in the future.

“There has been a lot of coverage in the media this year about the struggling UK high street. However, Basingstoke is bucking the trend. We have welcomed eight new businesses to the town in the last couple of months; the majority of which have been small and independent.”

The Salt Lounge, photo credit Basingstoke Together

Basingstoke Together aims to help the town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses. It will soon be launching a campaign to develop a regional community of Basingstoke’s small businesses.

As part of the campaign, independents in Basingstoke can display posters and window stickers, share their stories on social media using the #BIndependent hashtag. Basingstoke Together also offers free training with small businesses in Basingstoke on how to support growth in the town.

Joanne Goodman, Director of independent business Wax Works on Church Street, said: “It is a very difficult time to be a small business on the high street. We’re lucky to have such a diverse range of small and independent businesses in Basingstoke so a campaign to draw attention to them is a fantastic idea. It is also great to be able to reward people who choose to support small and independent businesses. When you support a small business, you support not only someone’s dream but the backbone of the town’s future. ”

For more information, visit www.basingstoketogether.co.uk

For more information on Small Business Saturday, visit https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/

The Secret Garden, photo credit Basingstoke Together

 

*Source: https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2018/11/small-business-saturday-helps-smes-fight-back-against-black-friday/

**Source: /www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/26/cyber-monday-uk-weekend-sales-spend-over-7bn-black-friday

Basingstoke Together supports local businesses by creating cultural hotspots within the town centre to draw visitors into the town and promote the business and leisure opportunities on the doorstep.

Basingstoke is a BID – a Business Improvement District, which is a business-led and business funded body formed to improve a defined commercial area. The improvements made by a BID are determined by the businesses themselves. It may include additional cleaning, security or projects such as recycling and improved infrastructure as well as destination branding and promotion.

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Bramley Toddler Group 0-5 Club

Bramley Toddler Group is a small, friendly group who meet every Tuesday from 10.15-11.45 during term time at The Clift Meadow Pavilion in Minchens Lane. There is a lovely mixture of mums, dads, grandmas and children aged from just a few weeks old up to 4 years old. Everyone is welcome and it’s always great to meet new people. As well as the children having a great time playing with all the toys, it’s a brilliant opportunity for the adults to socialise and chat over a cuppa!

We have a big selection of toys and equipment from dolls to trains, to slides and seesaws, a play kitchen and a massive collection of dressing up costumes. We have loads of baby toys and baby mats and bouncers so that the babies can also play safely and join in the fun.

As well as the usual play activities, we regularly have guest activities such as pottery painting, Usborne Books and a photographer, along with crafts such as cookie decorating and painting. We always have story time each week and the children can spend a few minutes enjoying a biscuit and drink while sitting and listening to the story.

We run as a small voluntary committee of mums and grandmas and we are always looking for new people to come on board. The main thing we need help with us opening up and setting up all the toys at the start of a session, and putting everything away again at the end.

You can keep up to date by joining the Bramley Toddler 0-5 Facebook group.

Tuesday 10.15-11.45 (Term Time only)
The Clift Meadow Pavilion, Minchens Lane, Bramley. RG26 5BH

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Review 2018: Muddy Fingers

 

Have a bit of free time and fancy doing something a bit different with your toddler – try Muddy Fingers!

https://www.facebook.com/MuddyFingersGardenClub/

07775594463 or info@muddyfingersgardenclub.co.uk

About

Muddy Fingers truly is a one of a kind class in Basingstoke. I have been to a lot of toddler classes in the local area and I have never been to one like this. If your kids love gardening and learning about nature, food and the environment then this could be for you.

Lauren, who started Muddy Fingers in September 2018, is a keen gardener and has two young children of her own. Her enthusiasm for the subject is obvious and so far, we have covered some great topics ranging from berries, sunflowers to hedgehogs. Each session is based on a new area and every week your child gets something to take something home with them, be that a craft or a seed that they have planted in their own pots.

We particularly enjoyed the pumpkin class that was held around Halloween. Each session starts with a talk about the topic so at this class we got to touch and feel lots had of different pumpkins. The children were encouraged to describe how then pumpkins felt – were they bumpy, smooth, squashy? Lauren then told us about how pumpkins are grown and the differences between each of them. I was particularly surprised that a pumpkin is technically a fruit as its seeds are grown on the inside. Each child then picked a pumpkin and using a fact sheet they measured how big it was, how heavy it was and how tall it was.

The children then picked one pumpkin for Lauren to slice open. This allowed them to all look at the inside and enjoy the messy job of scooping out the flesh and seeds! This was another opportunity to discuss how the pumpkin felt inside as it was pretty squashy and slimy! After a lot of messy fun, we moved onto some tasting as Lauren had brought in some homemade pumpkin soup and roasted pumpkin seeds for everyone to try. The seeds were particularly popular! Our last activity involved orange peppers which the children carved like Halloween pumpkins. My son ate his 5 minutes after finishing it!

The class concluded with a lovely pumpkin themed story which was read by Lauren.

 

Tips

Don’t wear your best clothes to this class, your children will get dirty!

Food

There is not food or drink offered at these classed but occasionally food will form part of the class. For example, we have made smoothies from popular berries which the children drank one week. If your child has allergies it would be worth telling Lauren about them when you register for the class, then she can accommodate for them.

Facilities

Currently sessions are held in two community centres – Brocas Hall at Clift Meadow in Bramley and Brookvale Village Hall, Basingstoke. Both halls have a toilets and disabled toilets with changing facilities.

Parking

Both halls have good parking facilities. The car park at Brookvale is closed as soon as the class has concluded. Brookvale Village Hall is an easy 10 min walk from Basingstoke town centre.

Prices

£40 for 5 weeks block of classes, and every week your child gets to take home something.

Tuesdays at Brookvale Village Hall, Basingstoke at 10am-10.50am.

Fridays at Brocas Hall at Clift Meadow, Bramley at 10am-10.50am.

Rating out of 5

5 out of 5. It may be a pricey class but it’s great to do something so different with your children. They truly love getting their hands dirty when they have done planting. We have made our own runner bean mini greenhouse one week!  The best bit is that this class helps you and your children learn about the world around them. Kids are encouraged to try new foods and get outdoors in the garden. My son and I are really looking forward to attending the summer classes when we will see the results of our winter planting and then we can start growing some fruit and veg for next summer! Roll of 2019!

 

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