The Small Business Saturday campaign returns on 2 December with a mission to help small firms maximise the peak season, as research finds Christmas will be vital to the fortunes of four fifths (86 per cent) of small businesses.
A survey of independent business owners, on behalf of Small Business Saturday and American Express, the campaign’s principal supporter, revealed Christmas is the most profitable period for over two thirds of small firms and vital to sustaining finances through the winter and tougher periods.
As the campaign gears up to return next week on 2 December, organisers are calling on the UK’s small businesses to get involved and make the most of the spotlight.
This comes amid flat economic forecasts, with the research also showing small firms continue to face a raft of challenges including inflation, which 31 per cent say remains their biggest issue for the next six months.
Entering its second decade in the UK, Small Business Saturday has a mission to support and celebrate the UK’s 5.5 million small businesses, encouraging people to ‘shop local’ and back small firms in their communities.
“Christmas is such a critical time for us, the six weeks to the big day can generate a huge proportion of our annual profit and sets us on a good footing for the year ahead,” said Greg Rose, co-founder of Maybugs in Sussex.
“The loyal customer base which we have built up over the years is key to having a good festive season, and gently reminding them to shop local and support independents is a huge part of our strategy. Whilst the cost-of-living crisis will most definitely have an impact, we are trading up on last year and customers are still spending, so overall we are feeling hopeful.”
Michelle Ovens CBE, director of Small Business Saturday UK, said:“As we enter our second decade, Small Business Saturday’s mission to support and celebrate the phenomenal contribution of small businesses across the UK remains just as vital.
“As things remain challenging out there for business owners, support from the public is absolutely vital, particularly during peak season. I’d encourage all small businesses to get involved and make the most of the spotlight!”
The UK’s most successful business campaign, Small Business Saturday engages millions and has seen billions of pounds spent with small firms on the day. Over the time it has been running in the UK, public support for small businesses has grown, with 77 per cent of small firms believing customers like to support them in the current climate.
Jen Baptiste, founder of Black Culture Market said: “As a small business owner, I value the spotlight that the Small Business Saturday campaign casts on enterprises like ours. It inspires individuals to explore diverse offerings and uncover the profound passion and dedication that small business owners invest in their work. This campaign serves as a call for everyone to consciously embrace local choices, contributing to the creation of innovation and economic growth. Small Business Saturday itself is more than a day of increased sales; it serves as a beacon, reminding customers of the distinctive value small businesses bring to the community. It’s a celebration of connections, relationships, and local commerce.”
A grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, it was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010. Small Business Saturday is free and open to all small firms to take part in, with many hosting events, offering promotions, and collaborating with other local businesses.
Despite the ongoing economic challenges, Small Business Saturday’s data also showed that small businesses remain upbeat with almost half (45 per cent) feeling confident about the next six months and 22 per cent diversifying their operations to respond to hurdles. This includes a rising trend for collaboration amongst local businesses, as 73 per cent team up to navigate economic challenges.
“As the campaign moves into its second decade, it remains just as vital,” said Dan Edelman, General Manager, UK Merchant Services at American Express. “We are proud to play our part in championing small businesses as long-standing principal supporter of Small Business Saturday UK, and through our Shop Small campaign, which encourages our Cardmembers to spend with independent, local businesses all year round.”
To learn more about Small Business Saturday visit - https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com