The weekend of 3-4 December gets the Christmas shopping season off to a flying start in Haslemere, with big opportunities for shoppers and retailers.

It combines the annual nationwide promotion of Small Business Saturday with the added attraction of free parking in Waverley car parks from 10:00. And on the Sunday, thousands of people will be drawn into the town for the customary Christmas market.

There’s another chance for increased footfall on 17 December when Wey Hill holds its Christmas fair ­– on a day topped off by the town’s Christmas carols event and the Christmas Cracker concert at Haslemere Hall.

Small Business Saturday turns the spotlight on the independent retail sector at a crucial moment in the shopping year and serves to remind consumers that many of their Christmas purchasing needs can be satisfied through local, specialist and highly competitive shops.

The Chamber urges its retail members – and other local independent shops – to underpin the overall commercial success of this year’s ‘Saturday’ and the rest of the Festive Season in Haslemere with active in-store and online publicity and promotions.

Waverley Borough Council is producing ‘free parking’ posters that will be offered to retailers. Electronic versions of the poster will be available for inclusion on websites and in email newsletters.

The Chamber will use its website and Newsletter to publicise the opportunity over the coming eight weeks. Both website and Newsletter are freely available for members to use to promote themselves by way of news items and special offers – and the run-up to December 3 will be a good time to get into the habit of using Chamber media to boost traffic to websites and into shops.

Members needing help or advice should send their requests via the form on the contact page.

While Small Business Saturday comes into sharp focus on 3 December, it is actually a growing, year-round campaign to foster growth in small businesses of all sorts. More details can be found on the Small Business Saturday website.