Business development · 25 April 2017

Small Business Saturday announces fifth UK campaign date

Small Business Saturday Campaign
The UK campaign will celebrate its fifth anniversary in December

This year’s UK-wide Small Business Saturday campaign will take place on Saturday 2 December, it has been announced.

The campaign, originally founded in the US by American Express in 2010, celebrates Britain’s small and micro businesses and encourages consumers to spend more at small firms.

Now in its fifth year in the UK, Small Business Saturday has become increasingly popular. Hundreds of thousands of businesses now participate every year, while some 80 per cent of local UK authorities now recognise and promote it.

The amount spent by shoppers at small and micro businesses on Small Business Saturday rose by nearly £250m between 2013 and 2016 –  an increase of 53 per cent. Last year, an estimated £717 million was spent with small UK businesses on the day itself.

Announcing the date for Small Business Saturday 2017, campaign director Michelle Ovens said: “Our aim this year is to get even more businesses around the UK to experience the effect of Small Business Saturday.

“We have a growing and highly engaged network of small business owners who recognise the benefit of getting involved and making the campaign work for their own companies and in their own communities.”

As well as encouraging consumer spending, the campaign also encourages small business promotion via social media. In 2016, more than 130,000 tweets were sent on Small Business Saturday itself, reaching more than 140m people, with Small Business Saturday UK trending at number one in the UK and at number five globally.

As with previous years, in 2017 events will be planned across Britain in the run-up to and on Small Business Saturday itself, including the return of the annual nationwide bus tour, and the annual search for the Small Biz 100 – the small businesses to be profiled each day in the 100 days leading up to 2 December.

To mark the day, small business owners will be invited to create special events or promotions themselves. The campaign will once again run Inspire, a nationwide series of free workshops run by experts and entrepreneurs for existing and aspiring small business owners.

Commenting on the benefits of last year’s campaign, Rowena Howie, the owner at small London fashion business Revival Retro, said: “Not only did we have more new interest shoppers and higher footfall on Small Business Saturday, we also saw a 35 per cent increase in sales compared with the same Saturday in 2015.”

Carolyn Frank, owner at Libby Butler Jewellers in Helmsley, near York, added that people are more aware of small businesses all year round because Small Business Saturday.

“I think it’s because it’s a genuine grassroots initiative that’s gathered pace so quickly, and it has reminded customers about the great variety and choice that small businesses can offer,” she said.

American Express remains the principle supporter of Small Business Saturday in the UK, but other campaign partners include PRS for Music, Dropbox and Mercedes Benz Vans.

Small Business Saturday is also backed by key business organisations, including the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Enterprise Nation.

Missed our exclusive video interview with MP Chuka Umunna, about the benefits of Small Business Saturday for Britain’s small and micro firms? Watch it here. 

Chuka Umunna exclusive: Small Business Saturday 2016 is about companies, not politicians

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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