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    ‘Brits acknowledge small businesses’ positive impact on local communities’

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    More than 11 million Britons hit their local high street to shop at a small business on Small Business Saturday, spending a collective £669m, states a recent report.

    The study by American Express to mark this year’s Small Business Saturday (2) shows that over the past 10 years, 70 per cent of Britons have become more aware of the positive impact small businesses have on local communities.

    The research suggests more than 11 million Britons hit their local high street or shopped online at a small business on Small Business Saturday, spending a collective £669m. Top reasons for shopping small included wanting to support business owners on the high street (45 per cent) and recognising it being a tough year for small business (38 per cent).

    Of those consumers upping their support for small businesses, they are doing so in a variety of ways; three fifths (61 per cent) say they are shopping small where possible; over half (56 per cent) are recommending small businesses to friends and family; and almost a third (30 per cent) are following them on social media.

    American Express is founder and principal supporter of Small Business Saturday, which encourages consumers to ‘shop small’ and support businesses in their communities. It is the UK’s most successful small business campaign; over the 11 years it has been running in the UK, it has engaged millions of shoppers and seen billions of pounds spent with small businesses.

    Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was also seen welcoming small businesses, charities, and local communities to Downing Street as part of a festive Christmas market. Government ministers joined MPs from all political parties, as well as local councils in positing their support across social media.

    Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday, said: “Although the weather was chilly, the nation’s hearts were warm with small business love and support this Small Business Saturday. It remains a tough economic environment for both businesses and consumers, which makes it all the more encouraging to see how much the UK appreciates and actively supports its small and local businesses.

    “These businesses, these founders and employers and innovators, are the heart and soul of the economy and communities, so it’s great to see the continued intention to show them support throughout the festive season and into 2024.”

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