11 November 2015
Support your local businesses: Small Business Saturday UK 2015
If you haven’t got your sprouts on the hob yet then now is the time. The Christmas songs are already on a loop in the shops and the mince pies have been on the shelves since August. This means only one thing: Christmas is hurtling towards us faster than the speed of sound and- Hark! The cash registers sing!
But there’s another event, a little earlier in December – on the 5th in fact, that must surely be as important to the economy as Christmas? For a particular sector of the economy at least.
I refer to Small Business Saturday UK – a movement I’ve only become aware of since becoming self-employed myself with AA Editorial Services.
So what is Small Business Saturday UK? Well, it’s described on the website as (https://www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com) a ‘grassroots, non-commercial campaign’ that came into being to support and promote small businesses.
Not just on the first Saturday in December but beyond. Because a small business is not just for December!
Small Business Saturday was born in 2013. Following last year’s event, research suggested that 64% of consumers were aware of the campaign and spent in the region of £504m at small businesses. That’s not small beer.
The aim of the campaign is to encourage businesses to promote themselves and to work with other small businesses, and to encourage consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities. And there are many powerful reasons for doing just that. As a 2013 article from The Guardian pointed out:
- Your spending boosts the local economy. For every £1 spent with a small or medium sized business 63p stays in the local economy – compared to 40p with a larger business. Isn’t that a good reason alone? Never mind that:
- It’s the ethical choice.
- Independent shops often sell quirky, one-off gifts.
- You support British entrepreneurs.
- You help build communities.
- You might get a better deal or some good advice.
- You can sometimes try before you buy.
In recent times I’ve made more effort to ‘shop local’. Partly this is a response to the discovery that so many big retail concerns are wriggling out of their taxation responsibilities in such spectacular fashion! A few hundred, or even a few thousand – well that’s one thing. But when it’s billions? That’s when I baulk.
Aside from that though, it’s an effort to support Swindon businesses that I’ve met through business networking – after all I want businesses and consumers to support me in my AA Editorial Services venture so it’s only right that I do the same is it not?
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
Whether you’re a small business or a consumer your first port of call is the Small Business Saturday Website: https://www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com
From there consumers can look up listings of small businesses close to them on the ‘My Small Business Finder’ gizmo. And small businesses that want to be involved can download information packs, posters and logos.
SPREAD THE WORD WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
The role of social media in spreading the small business gospel is not forgotten. Businesses and consumers alike can Tweet and post on facebook and Instagram photographs of themselves supporting their local businesses using #SmallBizSatUK
No-one wants a depressed High Street. Everyone wants a vibrant High Street that provides a pleasant place to shop and socialize. Well – eschewing the global giants where and when we can, supporting small businesses and shopping locally are positive steps towards achieving exactly that.