Small Business Saturday

Saturday 7th December 2013 is Small Business Saturday. The idea started with American Express in the USA, where it started on 2010. Indeed I did a little to publicise the idea on this blog in 2011. It has now spread to the UK.

If you value having small shops and other businesses, Saturday is your opportunity to show your support by spending some money with them. Basically, use ’em or lose ’em.

If you are Christmas shopping, buy a coffee from the independent rather than the chain. Try the butcher instead of the supermarket for meat. Buy a bottle of wine or your Christmas chocolates from the corner shop.

Above all, take the opportunity to explore and find your nearest hardware store, gardening shop or ice cream parlour. You may not need them on Saturday, but knowing they are there for the future extends your choice. And you never know what quirky delights you might come across.

If you are an American Express card holder, visit their site


What You Hear About Manufacturing Is Probably Wrong

we love manufacturing

I was at an interesting and entertaining talk yesterday by Justin Urquhart-Stuart of Seven Investment Management. You may have seen him on TV or heard him on the radio.

Anyone would think from the media that the UK does not do manufacturing any more. Justin pointed out that we are the 8th largest manufacturer in the world, and the 10th biggest exporter.

My own comment is that we are also a major car manufacturer, but the factories are owned by Nissan, Toyota, Honda, BMW and so on.

Of course, what will not come back is the level of employment that manufacturing used to provide, simply because of manufacturing technology. That said, I am quite happy that the turbine blades on a jet aircraft are not filed down individually by some workman at a bench.