A FORMER Naval officer behind a website supporting independent crafters has seen it picked as one of the nation’s most inspiring small businesses.

Susan Bonnar launched the British Craft House less than a year ago and has seen sales on the website more than triple during lockdown.

The has been selected as part of this year’s Small Biz 100, a national campaign highlighting some of the UK’s best small businesses in the run-up to Small Business Saturday in December.

Susan, from Lee-on-the-Solent, will be featured in the campaign on Friday, October 9.

She said: “To be acknowledged nationally and be chosen as part of Small Biz 100 this year out of such a small handful of businesses in the country is a real honour.

“I’m proud to have created a site that supports so many crafters around the country turning helping them turn their hobby into their livelihoods.

“Small Biz 100 has provided great value to small businesses across the UK during lockdown and is a great opportunity to showcase ourselves.”

Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK, said: “This campaign highlights the amazing, positive impact small firms have on communities across the UK.

“Given the phenomenally tough time small businesses have had, and the special role they played supporting communities in lockdown, it’s vital we continue to support them as this crisis continues.

“This year’s Small Business Saturday is going to be the most important one yet, and we’re determined it will also be the best.”

The British Craft House showcases the hand-made products of almost 500 sellers, who have to apply to set up their own shop on the site.

Susan, who is originally from Plymouth and spent more than 22 years in the Navy, started making her own cards in 2005. She was at home with her small children while her husband, also a Navy officer, was at sea, often on long deployments and she wanted to create something she could post him every day.

She has twice won the Small Business Sunday social media competition run by entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis.

Now in its eighth year in the UK, Small Business Saturday saw a record 17.6million people choose to “shop small” on the chosen day in December last year, generating an estimated £800million for small businesses.