For Small Business Saturday this weekend Wandsworth shoppers are being urged to spend their cash in local shops.

In its eighth year in the UK, the event falls on December 5, just in time to bag some Christmas bargains.

But this year the day also coincides with the end of the national lockdown, with people predicted to flock back to re-opened shops in a show of support for small firms.

According to the campaign, three out of five people supported small businesses more than previously, following the role businesses played in communities during coronavirus lockdowns.

Small Business Minister, Paul Scully, urged people to keep up the good work.

"Now more than ever it is vital that people get behind their local businesses, whether by popping in to get Christmas presents, ordering essentials online, or getting a takeaway from their favourite cafe or restaurant.

"This year, we are encouraging people to show their support not just on Small Business Saturday itself but in the coming weeks, months and beyond, in all the different ways they can safely," he said.

In honour of Small Business Saturday The Wandsworth Times has rounded up some neighbourhood businesses and local entrepreneurs in need of your support.

London Cakes 'n Flakes, Earlsfield

Vanessa Cristina is a mother based in Earlsfield who has recently launched a cake design and handcrafted chocolate truffles shop.

London Cakes n Flakes was inspired by her grandmother, who taught her how to cook and passed down family recipes.

For Vanessa “no project is too big or too small” – she does weddings, birthdays, celebration cupcakes, all made to order.

A box of decadent truffles ranges from £5-20 with vegan and low sugar options available too.

You can find her online here.

Just Cuts, Southside

Wandsworth Times: Magda Deaconescu, Just CutsMagda Deaconescu, Just Cutts

Based in Southside shopping centre, this small hairdressing salon has been put under strain owing to coronavirus restrictions for most of the year.

However, founder Magda Deaconescu is eager to encourage people safely back through its doors this Christmas season. Even if people are just celebrating over Zoom with their family, friends and colleagues, Just Cuts are urging people to book an appointment or pop in and pick up hair styling products. It's all-important additional revenue for the business owner and a perhaps a few stocking fillers for friends and family.

You can book an appointment here.

Yoga Mapp, Balham

Wandsworth Times: Shruti Srivastava, Yoga MappShruti Srivastava, Yoga Mapp

Yoga Mapp is a virtual marketplace offering live stream yoga in all styles and levels. The platform was developed during the initial lockdown period as a response to a gap in the market, and to help support yoga teachers.

Founder Shruti Srivastava was so inspired by seeing all her teachers from around the world move to live stream Zoom classes that she started creating schedules and recommending them on Instagram.

“I was feeling out of sorts when my regular studios closed down due to the virus but then a new market opened up online with all my teachers promoting their classes independently. I decided to launch @Yoga_Mapp on Instagram as a single virtual space where people could find a variety of styles and teachers at a date and time that suited them amidst the chaos of balancing home and work life,” she said.

You can take a look at the website here.

FORTY, Tooting

Wandsworth Times: Kenzo Onumonu, FORTYKenzo Onumonu, FORTY

FORTY is an engaging card game which gets right to the centre of big societal issues.

For 30-year-old founder, Kenzo Onumonu, this year has provided a unique opportunity to engage in big, and sometimes awkward, conversations.

“We’re covering some of the topics this year made us think about, everything from tearing down statues to dating in a pandemic.

“FORTY is an opportunity to debate in an engaging and entertaining way – it’s also a great way for people to stay connected and socialise during a difficult and isolating time. There’s never been a better time to talk,” he said.

An example of a card in the FORTY deck is ‘The world would benefit from exclusively female heads of state – Discuss.

You can purchase the card game here.

Wandsworth Council have got behind the campaign, though added a touch of caution in light of Tier 2 restrictions.

Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Aled Richards-Jones, said:

“Support for small and local businesses has never been more important than right now, when shops have reopened after lockdown and Christmas is approaching fast.

“While the council is pulling out all the stops to support firms of all sizes in our local town centres and high streets - we also want to encourage people to keep themselves and other people safe when going out to shop or eat and drink.”

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