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The Isle of Wight Council will once again be part of ‘Small Business Saturday’ this Saturday (3rd December) and will not charge motorists to park in any of its long stay car parks across the Island between 12:00 and 18:00.

This initiative was first held in the UK and on the Island in 2013 and will again take place on what is traditionally one of the busiest days for shopping in the lead up to the festive season.

The free parking includes Ventnor car parks and Pier Square car park in Yarmouth.

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Councillor Phil Jordan, executive member for public health, public protection and PFI, said:

“The council is very pleased to once again be supporting Small Business Saturday. It is important that we do what we can to help local businesses in the run up to Christmas and encourage shoppers to come into our towns.

“By promoting free parking from 12pm (noon) to 6pm, the Isle of Wight Council is determined to assist local traders during the course of the day by encouraging patrons to shop leisurely after the morning rush and ensuring those still determined to spend the day on the mainland continue to pay for their parking.

“Parking shouldn’t be a reason not to come the High Street, particularly as each day the majority of parking transactions around the town centres are non-paid for; on occasions such as Small Business Saturday, Island traders are joining forces to bring vibrancy into our towns and the council is keen to play its part in that.

“It is also a very good opportunity for local shops to entice customers into their business by offering incentives given the expected increase in shoppers on the day.”

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Norman Arnold from the Federation of Small Businesses said:

“In the age of online shopping and the megastore, it is important that people are given every opportunity and encouragement to support the local businesses that are the lifeblood of a thriving community.

“We hope people respond to this incentive by the council by supporting the many local businesses who between them have so much to offer those looking for gifts or just stocking up for Christmas.”

Kevin Smith from the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce added:

“The Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce continues to support the national Small Business Saturday campaign as part of our ongoing commitment to helping businesses to grow on the Isle of Wight.

“Small businesses from a wide range of sectors make a huge contribution to the Island’s economy and our wider community. We would always encourage Islanders to buy from and support local businesses whenever possible, and events like this help to spotlight this important message.”

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