Pet companies named in Top 100 small business list
Two small pet businesses have been named among the 100 small businesses in the UK to be celebrated by Small Business Saturday, the campaign that culminates in the UK’s dedicated day for small businesses on December 3.
The businesses will be among those featured one per day for the 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday itself.
The companies are:
The Pet Shed, a small pet shop set up by animal lover Hannah James (pictured above), who gave up her job as an accountant to pursue her dream of opening a pet shop. The shop, has been open for nearly three years, doesn’t actually stock pets but concentrates instead on offering the best and most natural pet food, treats, toys and accessories. It offers a number of ranges of dog treat biscuits, small dog collars and leads and a range of dog harnesses that are all supplied by small businesses.
“When my local pet shop came up for sale I jokingly said that I should buy it,” explains Hannah.
“Then I seriously considered it, but at the time could not raise the funds. Some time later, rather than buy the existing pet shop, I opened a new shop from scratch. I decided to apply my personal philosophy of eating natural food and buying sustainable products to the shop, so I stock natural dog foods and eco friendly pet toys and accessories.”
The other is Pug4Pets, a small business from Stoke On Trent, which offers personalised gifts for pets. Pug4Pets, which is the brainchild of Jo Ballantine and Leigh-Anne Arundel, offers a range of exclusive pet lockets that are hand stamped bespoke discs and floating charms to suit individual pets. Because the discs are hand stamped to order they can carry whatever information the owner wants, from telephone numbers, medical alerts or simply a favourite saying. The company also provides matching items for humans as well as an expanding range of human jewellery, cards, printed products, gifts and pet accessories.
Jo and Leigh-Anne have designed the business to be a community company, hosting a blog on its website to support local businesses and charities, and offering special donation codes that customers can use to donate 15% of their purchase to three chosen charities: Rain Rescue pet charity, Rogan’s Wish and Friends of Bramley Sunnyside Schools.
“We originally met online through a business support group three years ago and instantly hit it off,” explains Jo.
“Our business backgrounds were an ideal platform to launch the product from so once the original idea was formed we came together to create Pug4Pets. The human market was becoming saturated and it was time to progress the idea to other markets. Having researched dog collars, we found that lockets were not being used in this way.”
Small Business Saturday is already the UK's most successful small business campaign. This is the fourth year of the campaign, which last year saw £623m spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday, an increase of £119m or 24 per cent on the previous year. The campaign trended at number one in the UK on Twitter on the day with more than 100,000 campaign-related tweets being sent. Over 75% of local councils supported the campaign, giving considerable national reach into local communities.
The campaign is a great nationwide promotional and marketing tool for small businesses. It is totally free to participate and any small businesses can get involved - from one-man-bands, through to a high growth office, and from tradesmen to social media gurus. In addition to the big day, the campaign also delivers help and advice alongside opportunities to connect with other small businesses. In short, Small Business Saturday exists to support, inspire and promote small businesses.
“The British public has a great affection for small businesses and we continue to see that grow year on year. Small Business Saturday is an exceptional example of collaboration and co-operation with small businesses teaming up in communities around the UK,” explains Campaign Director Michelle Ovens.
“Although the campaign focuses on one day, the goal is to have a lasting impact on small businesses by changing mind-sets, so that people make it their mission to support small businesses all year round. Most people in this country own a small business, work for a small business or know somebody who does, so supporting a small business on Small Business Saturday is absolutely personal.”
Small Business Saturday, which is a grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010 and it remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small. The campaign also benefits from the backing of leading business organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses and Enterprise Nation. The campaign is also supported by PRS For Music, TalkTalk Business, Vistaprint, Post Office and Clear Channel
Logos, digital banners, a social media guide and toolkits will be available to download from the website www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com and can be displayed online or on premises. Businesses around the country can also upload information to the ‘My Small Business Finder’ on the website (www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com) on what special events or promotional offers they will be running for Small Business Saturday.
More information on Small Business Saturday can also be found on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page (www.facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturdayuk) and Twitter feed (@SmallBizSatUk)