Yesterday Alesha Dixon took to the Lanes in Brighton to help promote the nation’s small, independent shops in the run up to Small Business Saturday (5 December), by personally powering up their Christmas lights.                                                               

Highlighting the impact consumers can have by pounding the pavements of their local high streets and shopping small this festive season, American Express has installed a power-generating pavement along Meeting House Lane, one of the country’s oldest bustling independent high streets. A UK first – when shoppers walk down the pavement their footsteps will make the Christmas lights shine and sparkle.

The unique power-generating pavement tiles, invented by tech start-up Pavegen, harness the kinetic energy of footsteps and convert it into renewable energy. For one week, the footsteps of an estimated 41,000 shoppers will light up 400 Christmas lights along the street. 

“I’m a big fan of small shops and I’m excited to be here […] lighting up this lane,” said Alesha Dixon. “We’re aiming to inspire people all over the country to light up their own local high streets by showing their support and shopping small this Saturday and over the festive season. The power is in our hands and our feet, to make a big difference to the small businesses that add so much to our local communities.” Alesha was joined on the day by local award winning dance troupe Killabeez. 

According to a recent report by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) Brighton is the best place to start up a new business.