This year’s Small Business Saturday, a day where shoppers are encouraged to spend with local firms, is on 7 December.
According to independent research by Toluna for American Express, £812m was spent with small businesses during Small Business Saturday 2018. The same research revealed that cafés were the most-visited independent outlets (27pc).
When shoppers were asked, over half said they spent more they would normally with small businesses and around a quarter (24pc) said they spent half as much again as they would normally.
|Independent grocery store||15pc|
|Independent convenience store||14pc|
|Health and beauty shop||10pc|
Shops will be marking the day by holding customer events and councils will be offering free parking. Some areas will also be putting on networking events and street entertainment.
If you’re an American Express cardholder, you can get £5 credit when you spend £10 or more in participating small businesses.
A rare marketing opportunity
Elaine Burns, co-founder of clothing retailer Wear Eponymous says Small Business Saturday is a very important initiative for her company. ‘The press gets behind interesting small businesses to promote them for what could be, arguably, the only time in the year.
“Throughout the year it’s the major players that scoop the press so now it’s the small business’s time to shine.”
Burns feels that every shopping centre has become ‘identikit’, with consumers seeing the same shops with the same product lines over and over again.
“Small Business Saturday breathes fresh life into the shopping experience and encourages people to walk a different path.
“It’s common for friends or families shopping together to interact over designs and products they see in an independent shop that they haven’t seen before, sparking conversations that just wouldn’t happen in major retailers where products can often be similar versions of what’s available next door.”
There are a growing number of people and organisations looking to small business for their needs right across the board, according to Steven Timberlake, director of SalesRadar.
“People crave being treated as individuals and want to build lasting relationships; they know they are more likely to get that with a small business rather than a large corporate.
“People want to deal with a business who will take on their problems and offer a solution. In essence, this really is why small businesses makes such a difference to so many, and why they’ll always be entrepreneurs looking at what big business is doing and believing they can do it better with that extra personal touch.”