Small businesses in communities around the UK are to be put back in the national spotlight after organisers of the UK’s first Small Business Saturday named Saturday, December 6th as the date for this year’s event.
Small Business Saturday is a celebration of small businesses across the UK, both on the day and beyond. Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to 'shop local' and support their local communities, as well as giving small businesses a great opportunity for visibility and promotion.
According to research undertaken by campaign supporter American Express in the 24 hours following the UK’s first Small Business Saturday, just under half (48%) of UK consumers were aware of the day of which, over half (57%) shopped at a local, independently owned business.
Senior politicians led by the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Ed Milliband; Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne; Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable; Chuka Umunna, the Shadow Business Secretary and Matthew Hancock, the Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise, all took to the streets to encourage consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses.
The Small Business Saturday UK initiative also attracted the support of leading business organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses, Association of City and Town Management, Association of Convenience Stores, Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association and Ingenious Britain.
John Allan, national chairman of the FSB, commented: "We are delighted to launch this year’s Small Business Saturday campaign at the FSB National Conference. It will be bigger and better this year, supporting thousands of local businesses across the UK on December 6th.
"Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to show government at all levels and consumers why they should support our small firms every day. Last year the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) was firmly behind the campaign and we look forward to making this year an even greater celebration of small businesses.”
It also received strong support from a number of corporate supporters, including the founders of Small Business Saturday American Express, who were joined by O2, Lloyds Bank, Natwest and RBS, Make It Cheaper and prominent entrepreneurs James Caan, Piers Linney and Martha Lane Fox.
The research taken after the event in December also showed that some 43% of shoppers chose to do so specifically because of Small Business Saturday. These consumers spent an average of £33 per person in small businesses, which equated to a total of £468 million across the UK as a whole. Indeed 45% of those aware of the day who shopped in a small business on December 7th said they spent more than usual, with nearly one in five (19%) saying they had spent at least 50% more than they would have usually done on a typical Saturday.
Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna MP said: “When I first called for a British version of Small Business Saturday back in January 2013 I knew it would be popular and a concept people would take to their hearts, yet no one could have predicted the huge impact it has had.
"I will be promoting and taking part in Small Business Saturday this year as it grows from strength to strength. It was great to see so many MPs, local authorities and councillors across Britain getting behind Small Business Saturday 2013, alongside small firms, consumers and business organisations. I’m sure we’ll see even more support this year.”
More information on Small Business Saturday, participating retailers and details on promotions and other incentives to ‘shop locally’ can be found on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page (www.facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturdayuk) Twitter page (@SmallBizSatUk) and website (www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com).