The Small Business Saturday campaign promotes the support of local small businesses in the UK, particularly on the first Saturday of December. This year it happened last Saturday and was hugely successful in promoting spending with independently owned SMEs over larger corporations.
This initiative has gained the support of leading business organisations, including the Federation of Small Businesses and Ingenious Britain, among others. It was only the second Small Business Saturday in the UK, the first took place last year on the 7th of December 2013.
This campaign is heavily rooted in social media, using their hashtag #SmallBizSatUK to promote awareness, encouraging shoppers and businesses alike to show the success of this campaign via social media (image below). This has been incredibly successful as indicated by the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK being used in 53,000 tweets between 9 and 10am! Celebrities and big names also got involved on social media, further raising awareness and promoting #SmallBizSatUK to a wider audience.
To further support small businesses, the Small Business Saturday Website offers several useful materials to small businesses including a Digital Information Pack and Local Marketing Pack available to download. In the months leading up to the event, the campaign launch and promote their Inspire Series, which offers free business talks and workshops to businesses looking for advice and support. These talks are also broadcast in a live stream to make them more accessible to all of the UK.
A huge success
This year, Small Business Saturday was a huge success! According to American Express, SMEs in the UK benefited from £504 million in sales, up £36 million from last year. Furthermore, 16.5 million people shopped at local, independently owned businesses on the day, a 2.7 million increase from the previous year. Awareness among the general public was also high at 64% according to the same research.
Similarly, 55% of all local authorities in the UK supported the campaign, a 15% increase from last year. This statistic indicates the importance of this endeavour, not only to small businesses, but local economies as well. Support took various forms; sixty towns and cities provided free parking on the day to encourage local shopping.
The effort supported online business in various ways as well, including through the resources on its website and organising the Small Biz 100 which promoted one hundred businesses in the weeks leading up to the event.
This campaign is very relevant and on-trend, and is generally a great cause to get behind and support. Mark your calendars for next year and like their Facebook page here or follow them on Twitter here to stay up-to-date with this great cause. In the meantime, supporting small local businesses is always appropriate, especially during the holiday season. So if you’re still doing your holiday shopping whether it be presents, decorations, or groceries, support your local small companies this December and in the coming New Year!