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Artisan ice cream maker is named as one of the UK’s top small businesses

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Hadi BrooksHadi BrooksSwindon’s only artisan ice cream brand, Rays Ice Cream, has been selected as one of 100 trail-blazing small businesses in the official count-down to Small Business Saturday, which takes place across the UK on December 7.

Each year 100s of small businesses apply to be among the Small Biz 100 to show their support for the national campaign encouraging people to ‘buy local’ – for both products and services.

The initiative originally started in the USA in 2010 and was adopted in the UK three years later. It now attracts a huge following.

For 100 days up to Small Business Saturday, one business per day will be showcased by the Small Business Saturday team to reflect the vibrancy of the UK’s 5.6 million small businesses. Rays Ice Cream will be showcased on Tuesday, September 17.

Hadi Brooks, founder of Rays Ice Cream, said: “It’s a huge honour to be chosen as one of the Small Biz 100 this year. As a small business owner I fully support the aim of the national and international campaign to ‘show off’ the variety of SMEs across the UK and overseas.

"We work hard for our own families and for our communities and I’m delighted to be recognised as a valuable small business in Swindon.”

This year’s Small Biz 100 features a range of unique independent businesses each contributing to their communities and offering something different. Day one of the Small Biz 100 count-down kicks off with The Butchers Social from Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire.

Michelle Ovens MBE, director of Small Business Saturday, said: “Small Business Saturday’s increasing popularity means it was harder than ever to choose just 100 of this country’s incredible 5.6 million small businesses to showcase, but we believe those we have chosen are true representatives of the diverse, creative and inspiring heroes at the heart of our communities.”

In its seventh year, Small Business Saturday is the UK's most successful small business campaign, which last year saw an estimated £812 million spent in small businesses across the UK on the day, according to research commissioned by founder and principal supporter American Express.

This was up from the £748 million spent on Small Business Saturday in 2017, with 59 percent of people aware of the day saying they spent more than usual. The #SmallBizSatUK campaign trended in the UK top 5 on Twitter on the day, reaching over 100 million people globally.