Petersfield will starting the festive season this week with a range of events.

These include late-night shopping and a small businesses fair that will see East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds meet the traders to find out more about what they do, and what help they might need.

And as well as businesses and the community working together to support each other and the town, at least one of the events will raise funds for local charities.

Tonight (Thursday) there will be late shopping in Lavant Street and Chapel Street until at least 7pm.

And with the weather set fair for an evening of shopping under the Christmas lights, at least 18 shops will be open.

These include Hectors to John Westwood’s Petersfield Book Shop in Chapel Street, and One Tree Books to Northern Slice Pizza in Lavant Street.

On Friday, the First Friday Business Networking is hosting its monthly get-together in the Folly Upstairs from midday to 2pm.

This month’s speaker will be Robin Hollington of Inspired Information Services. He will discuss cyber-security threats facing small businesses.

He will also cover a government-backed ‘cyber-essentials’ scheme to protect sensitive business information online.

Cost is £22.50 including lunch and wine, and to book visit the website at

Then it’s Small Business Saturday, an event in celebration of independent traders in the town.

And as part of the day, there is a Small Business Fair in Winton House from 10am to 2pm.

The event will highlight 17 unique local businesses, giving people who want to shop locally more options.

Free to enter, there will be special offers, face-painting for children and tasters from a local brewer and baker.

Refreshments will raise funds for Winton House.

For more information visit the Facebook page petersfieldsmallbusinessfairs

Also on Saturday is the Giant Christmas Charity Market in The Petersfield School main hall, from 9.30am to 3pm

Entry is free and the Giant Christmas Charity Market raises funds for local charities such as Petersfield Musical Festival and the Rosemary Foundation.

A crafts stall run by Ukrainians living in town will support front-line medical aid.

Refreshments will be provided by Stroud WI.