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Brits urged to support this weekend’s Small Business Saturday

Brits are being urged to support this weekend’s Small Business Saturday bonanza as a whole host of local events boost and celebrate small firms nationwide.

As small businesses face fresh uncertainty and challenges heading into the crucial festive trading period, organisers are calling for a significant show of support in all corners of the nation.

And Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK,  speaking ahead of the December 4 occasion, said: “We all need to show small businesses our love this weekend. Not only do they make a massive contribution to our economy, but an immeasurable difference to all our lives.

“Despite demonstrating incredible entrepreneurialism and agility – alongside the support they’ve shown staff, customers and communities – many are still facing a really tough time.

“Small Business Saturday is a fantastic chance to get behind these firms and say a big ‘thank you’ for how amazing they are.”

Research by Small Business Saturday and principal supporter American Express recently found that while small business confidence is starting to rebound – 70% feeling more positive, versus 52% in May – the cost of goods (51%), rising energy costs (50%) and product shortages (36%) are now the greatest challenges.

With the campaign’s earlier research showing that over half (51%) of Brits now back local independents more than before the pandemic, people are particularly being encouraged to use the day as a chance to recognise the huge contribution of independent businesses to communities in lockdown.

Now in its ninth year in the UK Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which has sparked an ever-growing wave of support for all types of small businesses – whether they are on the high street, online or in offices.

Last year Small Business Saturday achieved record-breaking success with an estimated £1.1 billion spent with small businesses across the UK on the day, according to estimates.

The Prime Minister, leader of the opposition and the Mayor of London are among those publicly supporting this year’s campaign.

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: “From the pubs, restaurants and shops that make our high streets tick, to leisure and personal care services – like the hairdresser who saved my post-lockdown blushes last year – small businesses are at the heart of our way of life.

“I urge everyone to shop safely and back their local businesses on Small Business Saturday. The Government is leading the way, supporting firms with ground-breaking new schemes like Help to Grow: Digital which will help our hardworking business leaders to level up with discounted software and free tech support.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m proud to once again support Small Business Saturday – a day when we can all show our support for the independent and locally-run shops, cafes, restaurants and other small businesses that make our city what it is. This is more important now than ever before, when so many small businesses have suffered such a difficult year once again. Join me and millions of people across London and the UK as we support the small businesses that make our communities thrive.”

Many of the UK’s 6m small businesses take part in the day by hosting events, offering promotions, and collaborating with local councils, community groups and business owners.

This year an unprecedented surge of local events is expected to be seen, as councils and business groups coincide festive markets, light displays and fun days with Small Business Saturday, as well as offering free parking in town centres.