30 of Rochdale's best small businesses have been honoured at Rochdale town hall, as the borough gears up to celebrate Small Business Saturday this weekend (Saturday, 3 - Sunday, 4 December 2016).
The independents, which include businesses as diverse as a fashion designer, a handmade cake shop and a sports and entertainment venue, have all been nominated as a great example of small local business and form part of the Rochdale 30.
'Rochdale 30 is the borough's celebration of Small Business Saturday'
The Rochdale 30 was put together by local accountant Ruth Pringle, and is part of Rochdale Loves Small Business, a council-backed campaign which is the borough's celebration of Small Business Saturday.
Each Rochdale 30 business has been profiled on social media in previous weeks and they all received a certificate from the Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Ray Dutton, to celebrate their success.
'We're working hard to support small businesses: Council leader Richard Farnell'
Council Leader, Cllr Richard Farnell, said: "We're lucky to have some cracking small businesses in the borough, which offer a high quality service and unique products that you simply wouldn't find in larger stores.
"We're working hard to help small businesses, with our business rates reduction scheme, three hours free parking and our new shop front improvement grants, because that's where the future growth will be. When larger businesses grow, they tend to invest in technology, which reduces the need for employees, whereas our smaller companies are creating more and more jobs for our residents."
'Small business Saturday market will be taking place in the Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre on Saturday 3 December 2016'
A special small business market will be taking place in the former Ethel Austin unit in the Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre to mark Small Business Saturday this weekend (Saturday, 3 December 2016).
Residents can browse stalls featuring products like Amelia Alice handmade jewellery, Aromaflow candles, and Greg Couzen's handmade soaps, throughout the day and pick up unique Christmas gifts. The Federation of Small Businesses will also be on hand to offer free business advice to budding entrepreneurs.
Ruth Pringle, said: "I've been overwhelmed by the sheer number and quality of the small businesses which came forward when we put the call out for the Rochdale 30 and it just shows the huge variety we have here in Rochdale.
"As someone who runs a small business, I know how difficult it can be to get your name out there. That's why recognition like this is so important. I'm hoping to see lots of shoppers at our Small Business Market on Saturday (3 December 2016). Visitors might just discover a hidden gem they never knew existed."
Fashion designer Lindsey James, who runs her label Violet Flamingo from her base at the the Ebor Studios in Littleborough, was selected as one of the Rochdale 30.
She said: "When people support a local brand, they support their local area. My wages are spent in the local area and I rent space in Littleborough, as well as using local suppliers for my materials."
"It's great to see the council supporting small businesses and helping to highlight the fantastic places we have in Rochdale. Campaigns like the Rochdale 30 are really good for small businesses like me because we don't have the advertising power of big companies like Amazon. The Rochdale 30 has generated a lot of interest on social media and got the message out far and wide. I wouldn't be able to afford to pay for this kind of publicity, so it's a huge help."
Rochdale Loves Small Business has also been supported by the Rochdale Town centre Management Company and the Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre.Anyone who would like to have a look at the businesses profiled as part of the Rochdale 30 can visit Rochdale Loves Small Business on Facebook.