A record number of Britons came out in force to show their support for small independent businesses on the UK’s seventh annual Small Business Saturday this year. About 17.6 million shoppers across the UK hit their local high streets to provide an important boost for the nation’s 5.8 million small businesses.
An estimated £800 million was spent in small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday, according to research* commissioned by founder and principal supporter American Express.
Small Business Saturday also drew high engagement on social media, with #SmallBizSatUK and #SmallBusinessSaturday the UK’s top two trends throughout the day.
Michelle Ovens MBE, Director of Small Business Saturday said: “In its seventh year, Small Business Saturday has once again captured the hearts and minds of the nation, with record numbers turning out in support of Britain’s small businesses.
“With a net growth of 200,000 small businesses across the UK since 2018, there are more heroes than ever before to celebrate for the work they do in their communities and local economies. This year we have been telling people to go out and find their local hero, and people have voted with their feet, with over four million more people choosing to shop small on Small Business Saturday than in 2018.
“It was also fantastic to see such widespread cross-party support for Small Business Saturday ahead of the General Election. With 17 million people in the UK employed by small businesses, they impact and are impacted by every major policy area, and so it was important politicians joined the public in giving the sector a boost.”
Caroline Bouvet, Vice President at American Express, said: “Small businesses play such a vital role in their local communities so we are delighted to see that record numbers have come out in support of them at this busy time of year. We hope that our Shop Small campaign will encourage people to show their support for independents by shopping small all year round.”
A grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010. American Express remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small. American Express is incentivising Cardmembers to support their local small shops with its Shop Small offer. Whether it’s purchasing gifts for friends and family, or a personal treat during the festive season, when American Express Cardmembers spend £10 or more at participating small businesses between 7 – 22 December 2019 they will receive a £5 statement credit**.
Small Business Saturday took place following months of build-up and anticipation, with the annual Small Biz 100 announced in August recognizing 100 small businesses delivering incredible value for their communities.
The annual Small Business Saturday Bus Tour, which traveled to more than 25 town centers across the country in just under 30 days, provided an opportunity for small business owners to receive expert mentoring.
The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses.
On Small Business Saturday, customers across the UK go out and support all types of small businesses, online, in offices and in stores. Many small businesses take part in the day by hosting events and offering discounts.