Small business owners across the UK will once again get the opportunity to promote and market their company for free on 5 December, as American Express launches its third annual Small Business Saturday across the country.
With small businesses providing 60 per cent of the UK’s private sector jobs, as well as over half its annual turnover, the Small Business Saturday campaign aims to encourage more people to shop locally by highlighting small firms’ success stories.
Originally launched in the US in 2010, and successfully brought over to the UK by former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna in 2012, this year’s Small Business Saturday aims to improve on the success of previous campaigns.
Last year, 16.5m UK adults came out to buy from a small business, an increase of 2.7m shoppers from 2013. The 2014 campaign received the support of 55 per cent of the UK’s local authorities, with hundreds of the country’s MPs joining shoppers on the streets.
Acknowledging the value of small businesses in the UK, national campaign director Michelle Ovens said: “Most people in this country own a small business, work for a small business or know somebody who does so supporting a small business on Small Business Saturday is personal and means you are supporting somebody you know.”
“The Small Business Saturday campaign plays a valuable role in focussing the minds of consumers and business people on what small businesses in any sector or line of business can offer in terms of range of products and services and levels of customer service,” she explained.
A plethora of important UK small business bodies are showing their support for Small Business Saturday. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is offering a wide program of events across the country in tandem with the campaign, whilst the Association of City and Town Managment, The Association of Convenience Stores, the National Federation of Retail Newsagents and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association are all on board. Some of the campaign’s supporters from the corporate world include TalkTalk Business, Vistaprint and Indeed.
Themed “five million small businesses, one big day”, this year’s campaign offers the chance to meet and team up with other small business owners, share ideas and make use of free marketing and promotional tools that help small businesses to grow.
Although the campaign focus is on the “one big day” on 5 December, the Small Business Saturday team have been getting owners of small organisations involved throughout November.
The Small Business Saturday UK Bus Tour has been visiting 27 key towns and cities across the country since the start of the month, providing promotion opportunities for ventures in high-footfall, city-centre locations.
In the build up to the big day, the Small Business Saturday team is also promoting an important small firm every day for 100 days through its Small Biz 100 initiative, with everything from recruitment consultants to pet accessory retailers gaining promotion opportunities across national media.
There are now more ways than ever to get involved in Small Business Saturday. Small business owners are invited to host workshops and entrepreneur events that focus on their particular sector, bringing like-minded businesses together to share stories and ideas.
Creating blogs, writing articles, sharing small business news and inviting other small businesses to share their stories online are all great ways to get involved in Small Business Saturday, with the campaign website offering online support in the form downloadable web banners, logos and a social media guide. This year’s campaign will encourage small business owners to use social media to their advantage. Last year’s Small Business Saturday received around 3.5m Facebook views and trended at number one on Twitter on the day, under the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK.
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