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AUTUMN 2018 ROUND-UP Record spend during Small Business Saturday As preparations are made for this years Small Business Saturday, it has been revealed that 2017s event was a massive success, with the campaign trending on social media and a record amount spent across the UK. A fantastic 748m was spent with small businesses on the day last year, up four per cent from the 717m spent in 2016. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), a big supporter of the campaign, which is now in its sixth year, said it was thrilled so many people got behind local small firms. On the day: n #SmallBizSat trended at No 1 on social media in the UK. The FSB has run its own Keep Trade Local campaign for many years, to try to help small, independent high-street retailers survive and thrive. It has also organised events throughout the UK in the run-up to Small Business Saturday, including a nationwide bus tour, and small firms are encouraged to get involved and create their own events to drive more trac to their business. Credit: Karen Woolley, development manager, Federation of Small Businesses / benedek n The proportion of local authorities taking part was 87 per cent, up from 80 per cent in 2016 n More than 115,000 tweets were sent, reaching more than 115 million people ROUND-UP SAVE THE DATE Small Business Saturday, on 1 December 2018, is a great opportunity to encourage more people to shop locally, and for businesses to put on an event or simply to advertise what they do. From October to December, the Small Business Saturday bus tour will engage businesses and members of the public in every region of the UK. The route was still being finalised at the time of TSBN being published. You can register and advertise a business on the Small Business Saturday Small Business Finder for free and, nearer the day, using the Small Business Saturday logo and posters is a good way of encouraging people to use local businesses. The Small Biz 100 have been chosen and have been profiled daily since 24 August. You can also use Twitter to advertise what local businesses are doing tweet to @SmallBizSatUK, @FSB_ Policy, @FSB_Voice and @FSBWestMids, and theyll give you a shout out. Fire-safety breaches could cost you dear West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) is urging all companies to carry out fire safety checks in the run-up to the busy Christmas period. At a time of year when the amount of stock held by shops rises considerably, and to ensure the safety of staff and customers, it wants firms to make sure that all escape routes are kept clear and fire doors are not blocked. Ignoring safety procedures can prove costly. Last year, despite warnings by WMFS, a big name on the high street was fined a total of 60,000 and ordered to pay 7,500 in costs for six fire-safety breaches. Fire inspection officer Mick Norton said: We do everything we can to advise businesses on fire safety, but will not hesitate to prosecute if our advice is ignored. Retailers must realise they cant put profit before peoples safety by overstocking. DONT BLOW IT ON BLACK FRIDAY Black Friday, which this year falls on 23 November, oers consumers the chance to seek out a pre-Christmas deal. It is also a great opportunity to increase business but retailers need to ensure they comply with consumer protection rules. Customers want to bag a bargain on Black Friday, so it is very important that any reductions you claim are genuine. Which? surveys on previous Black Fridays have found that more than half of the items on oer were the same price, or cheaper, in the months either side of the event. You need to ensure any oers do not mislead consumers, or you could be breaching the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Most Black Friday purchases in the UK take place over the internet and, when trading online, you must give consumers certain information before they enter into a contract with you. In particular, for most purchases you must give cancellation rights (exemptions apply). When people buy goods online, the law says they can cancel their contract for any reason within 14 days of receipt of the goods, and can return the goods for a full refund including the cost of delivery to the consumer. If you expect the consumer to pay the cost of returning the goods, you must ensure this is clearly stated on your website, or you will be liable for those costs. Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, any goods you sell must be of satisfactory quality, fit for any purpose made known to you, and as described. If the goods fail to comply with any of these implied terms within 30 days of receipt for example, if they turn out to be faulty then the consumer has the right to reject them and get a full refund. Alternatively, they can request a repair or replacement. For faulty goods, you have to refund the cost of the return of the goods as well. The consumers rights do not end after 30 days, though, and after this time they still have the right to request a repair or replacement if goods are faulty. Make sure that you are adequately prepared for Black Friday; ensure that you understand your legal obligations, so that the event will be a positive and successful one for you and your customers. Further advice and guidance is available on the Business Companion website. Credit: Sylvia Rook, Trading Standards ocer For further information please contact your local Trading Standards Service