I was sitting in the auditorium at Curve, Leicester, attending my first-ever Federation of Small Businesses conference. On stage was Chuka Umunna, then Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, who began to explain how he’d seen Small Business Saturday work in the United States and wanted to bring it here.
It was such a great idea that I’m delighted to say it won cross-party support and the first-ever Small Business Saturday took place in the UK on December 7, 2013. Each year since it has grown in size and influence, but if you’ve still not heard of it, let me tell you a bit more. It’s a grassroots, not-for-profit campaign supported by ALL the major political parties plus a number of major big businesses including American Express, which was responsible for launching the campaign in America in 2010.
It’s a year-round drive to showcase independent, small businesses and encourage more people to support them. The annual highlight in the UK is the first Saturday in December, which is called Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday 2017 saw an estimated £748 million spent on the day with 56% of customers saying they spent more than usual on the day. More than 115,000 tweets were published about the event, with #SmallBizSatUK UK trending at number one in the UK.
Backing from local authorities was up from 80% in 2016 to 87% in 2017 with active support for the campaign.
This year, the sixth annual Small Business Saturday falls on Saturday, December
How you can get involved with Small Business Saturday
1. Go to smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com and sign-up for a free account. You can then register yourself on the FREE Small Business Finder online. Once your entry is approved, you can log in and update your profile whenever you want; add hyperlinks, offers and events.
|The Small Business Finder of the Small Business Saturday website|
|The Small Business Conga in 2015. Picture by Joanne Cooper Photography.|
|Buckie with Helen of Helen's Bakehouse and Tearooms, December 2017|