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FSB launches UK campaign to ‘save our Christmas lights'

03 December 2012 PR/2012/39

FSB News Release
PR 2012 39
Issue date: Monday 3 December 2012
 
FSB launches UK campaign to ‘save our Christmas lights'
 
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has launched a campaign to save Christmas lights in towns and villages across the country. The FSB is urging local authorities to re-think the decision amidst concerns shoppers will go elsewhere for the festivities.
 
On-going budget cuts are forcing many local councils to abandon the Christmas spirit but the FSB says this is disappointing many shoppers and potentially damaging local businesses.
 
In some regions small firms have raised thousands of pounds themselves to shine a light on their high streets. For example, in Monton, Manchester, businesses and the community planned that they would have to fund their lights so held a summer fair earlier in the year to raise money. And in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, retailers have raised £1,000 to ensure they don't miss out on festive lights this year after funding was removed.
 
The FSB campaigns through its Keep Trade Local campaign to reverse the trend of decline on the high street and defend the choice and diversity that customers deserve.
 
The FSB is calling for small firms to send photos of their business dressed in festive spirit via Facebook and Twitter and is hosting pictures on Tumblr. The FSB is also filming high streets across the country and looking for examples of villages and towns drawing shoppers to their high streets and local, independent shops.
 
John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
 
"It is a real disappointment that many local councils removed funding for Christmas lights on their high streets. We all know that UK high streets have been suffering for some time and Christmas can make or break a business for the year ahead. So ensuring that our high streets are attractive and drive in trade is important – something that having festive lights does.
 
"However, small firms and communities have shown resilience and creativity to ensure that they do not lose out this festive season by coming up with innovative ways to raise funds for their lights or to get people to the high street."
 
ENDS
 
Notes to Editors
 
1. The FSB is the UK's leading business organisation with around 200,000 members. It exists to protect and promote the interests of the UK's Real-Life Entrepreneurs who run their own business. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk.
 
2. The FSB is hosting the videos and images on Tumblr. You can view them here http://fsbhq.tumblr.com/
 
3. For more information on the FSB's Keep Trade Local campaign, visit www.fsb.org.uk/other_campaigns
 
Contacts
 
Liesl Smith: 020 7592 8128 / 07917 628926 liesl.smith@fsb.org.uk
Prue Watson: 020 7592 8121 / 07825 125 695 prue.watson@fsb.org.uk 
Sara Crane: 020 7592 8113 / 07595 067068 sara.crane@fsb.org.uk
 
ISDN is available for media interviews.
 

For regional FSB contacts please go to www.fsb.org.uk/regions