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Delivering A Message To The PM Cardie Urges For Small Biz Support

Tie-ing in with Small Business Saturday, greeting card publisher Becci Cahill- Roots, founder of newbie greeting card publisher Betty Etiquette, didn’t waste an opportunity to highlight the importance of supporting small independent businesses to the government. As part of the celebrations for Small Business Saturday (December 6), Betty Etiquette (one of the Small Biz 100 companies) participated in a special Number 10 Christmas Fair in Downing Street.

Becci said she was delighted that

deputy PM Nick Clegg was on-message, saying “Forget Black Friday and Cyber

Monday. This Small Business Saturday we get to celebrate and show our support for Britain’s 5.2 million small and medium-sized businesses. Make sure you get involved.” l Amex invested in a national advertising campaign that

encouraged consumers

to ‘Think Big, Shop Small' for Small Business Saturday. American Express found that 43% of shoppers specifically chose to shop at local independently owned businesses because of Small Business Saturday. Customers spent an average of £33 per person on the day, generating £468 million for small businesses across the UK.

Above: Card publisher Becci Cahill-Roots (of Betty Etiquette) delivers her message to the PM as to the importance of supporting small businesses, whether retailers or manufacturers. Left: Artist Sir Peter Blake gave the high street the Sgt Pepper treatment with a poster that celebrates small independents. Called High Street Heroes, his work features 61 shopkeepers.

Toasting 30 Years Software supplier to many greeting card and giftware companies, Aspin, recently shared cake and champagne with publishers and their other clients, having kicked off their commemorative 30th birthday year. With its offices decked in tissue pom-poms, glitter and decorative paper stars, over 50 visitors and staff joined in the celebration. A raffle helped to raise over £100 for Macmillan Cancer. “The last 30 years have seen many changes at Aspin, but central to our ethos over all this time has been to provide exemplary service to our customers and market leading applications," stated md Nathan Aspin. Left: Founder John Aspin at the company's 30th anniversary.

Taxing Issue With Bag Levy In a major incentive to cut down on waste by getting shoppers to re- use their carrier bags, the government is following the practice in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland by introducing a 5p levy on all single-use bags in England - both plastic and paper - with the new legislation coming into force on January 19. Small independent retailers, such as greeting card shops, are exempt at present. "We were plastic bag free for a few years due to environmental

concerns, but have recently gone back to having bio-poly plastic bags available," says Annette Heath-Coleman, director of Acorn, a card and gift shop in Axminster. "Decent quality plastic bags, on which we have our logo and contact details printed, are rainproof, stronger and more likely to be re-used," she points out. "We don't charge for our plastic bags, but I think if we had to, most of our customers wouldn't mind paying 5p." Liza Butcher, owner of Made in Clifton Village, says she thinks it's a good thing from the

Above: A range of carrier bags from Heaven Sends.


l Last month Simon Taylor-Kielty, master artist at The Great British Card Company, spread the word by taking part in a transatlantic interview with Jason Proctor, radio producer at CBC's The Current, a popular radio show that's listened to across Canada.

l A Tweet from the Essex police revealed that the public might be safer to stay with traditional greeting cards than to use social media. The Tweet read: "Received an anonymous e-card? Play safe + delete. It could be infected with a virus."

l Dutch-based Art House Design image bank has taken over the sales and marketing of 5 Seasons from Belgium.

l Antalis UK has won the Sustainable Business of the Year award within the Suppliers category at the Sustainability Awards hosted by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA). The ceremony marked the end of the PPA’s 6th annual Sustainability Summit.

l Modern Toss produced an online Advent calendar featuring 24 festive Toss cartoons from the company's Christmas

greeting card range. Right: The Modern Toss Advent calendar.

l The average Brit spends nearly a month of their life Christmas shopping. Researchers found that, on average, shoppers took 11 and a half hours to do their Christmas shopping each year. (Source

l Artist agency, This Iris, has signed an exclusive worldwide deal with GBCC. The company will be working closely with free embroidery artist Tina Crawford to develop a range of greeting cards for GBCC. Tina has designed bespoke ceramic ranges for St Paul's Cathedral, National History Museum, Paul Smith, Mary Portas, John Lewis and many others. Recently, she also created a range for Kew Gardens, taking her inspiration from the little known remedy garden near Kew Palace.

l Cracker company Tom Smith, part of International Greetings, has gone crackers for social media and is now on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. "Please share with your followers, networks and friends, please like, link, comment and share away!" enthused IG's PR manager Katie Brickle. "There are some exciting competitions with some excellent prizes!"

l Crackercard's Christmas went with a 'bang' as the company's products featured on ITV's Good Morning programme (below). Presenters Amanda Holden and Philip Schofield review some of the year's best Christmas crackers while also highlighting some more unusual, innovative crackers which included the publisher's Cracker Cards.

perspective of people having to pay for plastic carrier bags if they want to go on using them. "However, I do like to see people with our bags walking around as it's advertising for the shop. While we are going to keep our brown carrier bags, we will also be investing in bespoke canvas 'bags for life'." At Wonder Stuff in Treorchy, Alison Chapman confirms that the legislation has been in force for

three years. "It is a win win situation," she states. "Obviously if we use less bags then we need to buy less bags, with less cost to the business. This in turn helps the environment. If customers actually need a bag, then the 5p goes straight into the charity box which is kept on the counter."


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