30 Nov Downing Street’s Festive Celebrations kick off Small Business Saturday
Downing Street came alive with festive cheer as the Prime Minister, flanked by businesses, charities, and community groups, ushered in the holiday season by illuminating the Christmas lights outside Number 10. This annual event brought together a mosaic of contributors, underscoring the spirit of unity and celebration.
Among the attendees were military families, commendable Points of Light award winners recognized for their philanthropic endeavours, aspiring business students, and the gracious providers of Downing Street’s iconic Christmas Tree, the proprietors of Dartmoor Christmas Tree Farm.
The thoroughfare of Downing Street morphed into a vibrant Christmas market, adorned with stalls exhibiting an eclectic array of British businesses’ wares. From Mixpixie to Joy by Corrine Smith and Create Gift Love, Not on The High Street’s online retailer, a medley of products was on display, encapsulating the diversity and innovation of British entrepreneurship.
Guests were treated to delectable offerings from various corners of the UK, relishing in the flavours of Forest Feast from Northern Ireland, the zest of Slainte Sauce from Scotland, the craftsmanship of Mijmoj from Wales, and the indulgence of Mocha Chocolate from Yorkshire. The jubilant ambiance was further elevated by the harmonious tunes resonating from the London Community Gospel Choir and a lively military band.
Amidst the festivities, the Prime Minister, accompanied by Ms. Murty, perused the market stalls, engaging with guests before leading the eagerly anticipated countdown to illuminate the festive lights.
In his address, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak encapsulated the essence of the season, expressing delight in welcoming the amalgamation of small businesses, charities, and local communities to Downing Street. He emphasized the significance of Small Business Saturday, lauding the pivotal role independent businesses play in fostering growth and opportunities within communities.
The grand Christmas tree gracing Downing Street’s environs was provided by Dartmoor Christmas Tree Farm, recognized as the Champion Christmas Tree Grower of the Year 2023, marking over two decades of collaboration with BCTGA for this cherished tradition.
Adding to the festive decor, Friezeland Christmas Tree Farm from Warwickshire adorned Number 10’s front door with the Champion Festive Wreath of the Year 2023.
The event also served as a platform for government ministers to engage with showcased businesses, culminating in a meeting with Minister Kevin Hollinrake to explore avenues for ongoing support and collaboration with small businesses.
Elizabeth Graves, Owner of Mocha Chocolate, expressed her enthusiasm for participating in the prestigious showcase, highlighting the significance of engaging with the government to address challenges and foster expansion opportunities for small businesses.
This celebration precedes Small Business Saturday, an annual grassroots campaign advocating support for local enterprises. Ministers will traverse the country, acknowledging and appreciating the invaluable contributions of independent businesses to our daily lives.
The event aligns with the Chancellor’s recent commitment to bolster small businesses, as reflected in the Autumn Statement’s comprehensive £4.3 billion allocation over the next five years, aimed at fortifying high streets and safeguarding small enterprises, thereby fortifying the economy.
Michelle Ovens CBE, Director of Small Business Saturday UK, commended the Prime Minister’s spotlight on small businesses, paralleling the illumination of the Christmas lights to the sparkling brilliance of the nation’s 5.5 million small businesses, underscoring their indispensable role in the local communities and the wider economy.
As the country prepares for Small Business Saturday, the call resounds to rally behind these enterprises, acknowledging and celebrating their unique contributions to our lives. In essence, Downing Street’s festive celebration becomes a rallying cry to cherish and bolster the vibrant tapestry of small businesses woven into the fabric of our society.