The idea of Small Business Saturday, started life in the US, in 2010, by American Express, who have a history of championing the high street. However it came to the UK a few years later.
The non-commercial campaign, is now in its 9th year in the UK, and has grown significantly each. year, with a record £1.1 billion spent with small businesses on Small Business Saturday 2020, and 15.4 million people choosing to shop small.
The whole idea is that the day itself, which often takes place on the first Saturday in December , this year its on the 4th of December (though in the USA it’s on Saturday 27th of November) encourages people to ‘shop local’, supporting small businesses in their communities.
All types of business can take part in the day, hosting events, and offering discounts on their products and services. It’s seen very much as a celebration of small independent businesses throughout the UK.
Also, each year, the campaign highlights 100 small businesses, and one a day for the 100 days leading up to the Small Business Saturday 2021. This means, those 100 businesses will receive exposure on the Small Business Saturday’s social media channels, and in both local and national press, but they can be invited to join the Small Business Saturday team in London at receptions which can be held with very senior government ministers.
The importance of small businesses in general to the economy:
Sadly, during the disruption of the last two years with the pandemic, many UK small businesses have had to close temporarily (and some terminally), often due to having little cash reserves to buffer the financial shock of the pandemic.
However, at the same time, some businesses have managed to be adept in managing their approach to the changes that have been forced upon us, and are remaining viable, despite the upheaval.
There are an estimated, 5.9 million UK private sector businesses.
5 reasons why SMEs are essential to the UK economy in 2021:
- They generate employment opportunities. According to the FSB, SMEs account for three fifths of UK employment. This is important for local towns, and cities, as well as the national economy.
- They add to the GDP – UK family firms generate 25% of the total UK GDP. In 2020, SMEs in the UK had a combined turnover of £2.28 trillion, with businesses that had less than ten people working with them, contributing the most at £944.billion.
- SMEs have the capacity for innovation, which is critical to their success. They don’t usually have the financial resources of larger companies, but they often drive innovation in the broadest sense; creating products and services to meet market demand; introducing new processes – basically, creating the best environment for them to grow and flourish. They are often more agile and can change and flex more easily.
- Importantly, they boost the local community, providing work, attracting visitors to the area, generating community involvement, and adding to local character of the area. Coffee shops and eateries help people socialise locally, have business meetings, and give people with mobility issues, easier access to essential resources.
- Shopping at local SMEs, helps consumers feel more ethical and more connected to their community. By shopping local, they are not only supporting the local businesses, but also reducing their carbon footprint in the process.
As we have grown, and over this last year of disruption, fortunately, we have been able to diversify our normal business practises, to ensure we have continued in business. Our turnover has in fact grown, so we are bringing more back into the UK economy through our sales. We’re happy to say we are a successful, small business! We are extremely grateful for that.
To find out more visit: Small Business Saturday