Brighton welcomes Small Business Saturday bus tour as minister joins small business owners

Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst joined Small Business Saturday bus tour in Brighton.

  • Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst joined Small Business Saturday bus tour
  • visit coincides with Small Business Saturday on December 1
  • in the year following the launch of our modern Industrial Strategy, we are delivering jobs and growth in every part of the country

Brighton Lanes shoppers were treated to a remarkable sight today, Thursday November 22 2018, as the Small Business Saturday Bus arrived in town as part of its UK-wide tour, welcomed by the Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst.

Ahead of Small Business Saturday on December 1, the minister saw first-hand the inspiring ways in which local businesses have used government-backed investment from the Start-up Loans fund and Small Business Saturday to invest and grow for the future.

As part of the visit to the Lanes, the minister reinforced the wealth of resources available for businesses in West Sussex – The Coast to Capital Growth Hub in Horsham is part of the network of Local Enterprise Partnership-led Growth Hubs across England, providing access to information and advice to SMEs, alongside our free Business Support Helpline.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy – and our business environment is amongst the best in the world. In the year following the launch of our modern Industrial Strategy, we are delivering jobs and growth in every part of the country and doing even more to ensure the UK remains the best place in the world to start and grow a business.

The minister met the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Councillor Dee Simson, who was joined by Brighton & Hove City Council lead member for economic development, Councillor Nancy Platts and representatives from Brilliant Brighton, Brighton BID, the British Business Bank, Federation of Small Businesses, the Coast to Capital Growth Hub in Horsham and Start-up Loans Company.

Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said:

We are dedicated to supporting the UK’s 5.7 million small businesses like those in Brighton, which are at the heart of our local communities and the backbone of our economy.

In the year following the launch of our modern Industrial Strategy, we are delivering jobs and growth in every part of the country, and we remain dedicated to supporting small businesses to boost their productivity and growth for the future– something I am passionate about as a former small business owner myself.

Start-up Loans provides start up finance and up to 12 months of mentoring support for businesses. The government recently introduced new laws to make it easier for small businesses to access invoice finance, providing a £1 billion long-term boost to the economy.

A Call for Evidence is currently seeking opinions to help end the culture of late payments to small businesses which is open to businesses to take part in until November 29.

Michelle Ovens, Small Business Saturday director, said:

We’re excited to have the support of Kelly Tolhurst for the Small Business Saturday bus tour stop in Brighton, which is all about highlighting the positive impact that small businesses have in the town and across the surrounding area.

It is a great chance for local business owners to receive mentoring and showcase their products and services to the local community.

Brighton is a growing vibrant and creative hub, and it is great to showcase the small businesses that provide the foundation to the local economy.

The Small Business Saturday bus tour travelled across the UK, beginning in Blackburn on Thursday, October 25, taking in 30 towns and cities over 5 weeks, ending in London on Wednesday, November 28.

The Modern Industrial Strategy

Our modern Industrial Strategy, published last year, set out how the whole of the UK can build on these strengths, extend them into the future, and capitalise on new opportunities. Investing in science and research to keep us at the forefront of new technologies and the benefits they bring. Nurturing the talent of tomorrow – through more outstanding schools, world-leading universities and the technical skills that will drive our economy. And transforming the places where people live and work – the places where ideas and inspiration are born – by backing businesses and building infrastructure not just in London and the South East but across every part of our country.

It has been taken forward at pace over the last year:

  • innovative ideas that bring together world-class UK science, research and innovation to develop cutting edge products and services of the future have received an extra £1.7 billion making it the largest increase for 40 years (to £7 billion). That includes £210 million to develop new medical diagnostic tools and treatments, £90 million for the food and farming industry to embrace agri-tech and £184 million for 41 UK universities to train the next generation of world-class scientists and engineers

  • 6 sector deals between government and industry have been published – from construction and automotive to nuclear and the creative industries, including £1.9 billion of investment in life sciences and £1 billion for artificial intelligence. They are not only about attracting investment and growth, but also ensuring we have the skilled, diverse workforce we need for the future

  • plans for new technical qualifications (t-levels) and to transform the quality and quantity of apprenticeships

  • further connectivity of Britain’s towns, cities and rural areas, including the first allocations of the £190 million full-fibre challenge fund and £25 million for 6 5G testbeds across the UK

  • opened the Transforming Cities Fund with billions of pounds ready to go to projects that drive productivity by improving connections within city regions

  • opened the Faraday Institution in Oxford to keep the UK at the forefront of global battery manufacture

  • announced plans for a new spaceport in Sutherland

  • we now have the fastest growing infrastructure investment across the G7, providing £31 billion of additional capital spending to areas critical to improving productivity

  • we have launched the £9 million Centre of Data Ethics and Innovation to act as an advisory body to government and regulators on ethics of data and its use, including for AI

  • we recently launched the Patient Capital Fund, which will invest £2.5 billion in our most innovative companies

  • we will shortly publish the Business Productivity Review setting out ways to support improving productivity in many of our smaller businesses


The regional bus tour runs from 25 October to 28 November. For more information, visit the Small Business Saturday website.

Small Business Saturday is a campaign to promote the value of small business to local communities as well as the economy, reaching millions of businesses and consumers each year. Government has supported this campaign for the past 6 years.

Small Business Saturday is on 1 December 2018.

Visit for information on support for small businesses.

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