A ROADSHOW to boost independent traders sweeps into the west and south of the county next week.

The Small Business Saturday UK bus tour will spend Monday [November 14] morning in Carterton, before moving to Thame in the afternoon.

It hosts activities, workshops and exhibitions to boost awareness of Small Business Saturday on December 3 – the busiest shopping day of the year.

Between 10am and 12.30pm on Monday, Carterton’s Market Square will be full of stalls offering services for small firms.

On board the bus will be workshops from Stefan Thomas, author of Business Networking for Dummies and Caroline Drake from Blossom Social Media.

This is the fourth roadshow - last year’s came to Oxford’s Bonn Square.

Business woman and town councillor Sarah Scott-Stovold [correct] lobbied organisers to include Carterton.

Ms Scott-Stovold, marketing manager for the town’s Chamber of Trade and business manager for family-run garage Auto Repair, said: “We went to see the roadshow in Oxford last year and it was excellent.

“We thought it would be amazing if we could bring it to Carterton.”

After months campaigning, aided by Mayor Lynn Little and West Oxfordshire District Council business development officer Will Barton, she succeeded.

She said: “I was so excited when they phoned to tell me the bus would be coming.

“It is a brilliant opportunity for local businesses to come together and take advantage of this networking opportunity.“

Oxfordshire Business Enterprise, Jennings Business Mentors and Oxfordshire Apprenticeships will be among stallholders offering support.

Mr Barton explained: “It’s a good opportunity for small businesses to get together to find out what support is available and how they can all work together on Small Business Saturday.”

Stefan Thomas, who runs his networking firm from Carterton, said: There are loads of businesses in Carterton but we are a really small town, even compared to Witney.”

He added: “Whether butcher, baker or candlestick maker, there are others facing exactly the same challenges as you.

““This is not just about support for businesses, it’s about creating a sense of community.”

In Thame High Street, from 2pm to 4pm, activities will include a free workshop hosted by not-for-profit Do it Digital on Google and Street View.

The roadshow, which includes 29 stops, started in Aberdeen last month and ends in Bournemouth on November 25.

It is part of the Small Business Saturday campaign, which encourages shoppers to spend their cash in independents, rather than chain stores.

The not-for-profit promotion, backed by government and local councils, showcases 100 independents on social media in the three months leading up to December 3.

Those chosen this year include Oxford High Street gift shop Podarok [ok].

For more information, see smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com