The first of three free parking Saturdays will start in Portadown this weekend as the town prepares for Christmas.
Tomorrow is also Small Business Saturday, which encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support their local traders.
DJ John Kearns and the Cool FM Roadshow will be in the town from 11am-3pm to help get shoppers in the festive mood.
The free parking will apply to five council-owned, pay and display car parks in Portadown - Meadow Lane East and West, Magowan West, William Street, Marley Street and West Street - on Saturday 5, 12 and 19.
Small Business Saturday will also take place in surrounding villages including Richhill and Waringstown across retail, hospitality and service sectors.
Adrian Farrell, president of Portadown Chamber of Commerce, said, “The free parking is wonderful news for the town centre traders and the council are to be congratulated on this promotion. I’m hoping folk will shop local over the next three weekends taking advantage of this great incentive.”
Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Darryn Causby said “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local city and town centres, adding social and commercial value to the places in which we work, live and enjoy.
“Statistics show that for every £1 spent with a local, independent business, between 50-70p circulates back into that local economy.
“It’s vital that we do all we can to drive home the ‘shop local’ message to help town, city and village centres enjoy higher footfall, longer consumer dwell time and lower vacancy rates.
“Our support for this year’s Small Business Saturday campaign demonstrates the commitment which Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has to supporting small business owners throughout the borough and with free car parking each Saturday on the run-up to Christmas, it’s the perfect chance to pick up some unique, festive treats.”