On Saturday 2nd December it is Small Business Saturday, with 2017 being it’s fifth year running in the UK. With #hashtags flying everywhere, lots of local media noise and even a 5 week Small Business Saturday national bus tour, it would be difficult to miss. But why the big fuss about small businesses?
Small businesses are important
According to the Federation of Small Businesses there are 5.5 million small and medium-sized businesses in the UK generating half of all private sector turnover. This may or may not sound like a lot to you, but get this – half of the UK workforce works for a small or medium-sized business. That means if you don’t work for a small business, then statistically your neighbour probably does! This makes small businesses personal, because they support your family and your friends, and so in an indirect way having healthy local small businesses not only benefits the economy, but it benefits our communities and society more broadly.
Small businesses need your support
You will have witnessed with your own eyes the changes to your local high street in the last 5 or 10 years. Chains replace local independents. Retail units become vacant. Pubs are converted to flats. Changes in our shopping trends, notably internet shopping, has had a massive impact on local small businesses. According to the Office of National Statistics “the number of UK business deaths…increased from 283,000 to 328,000 between 2015 and 2016, a death rate of 11.6% compared with a rate of 10.5% in 2015.”
Fortunately, small businesses are pretty resilient. They are great at adapting and moving with the times, seeking out new products and markets, and generally being entrepreneurial. This is what campaigns like Small Business Saturday celebrate.
How can I get involved?
Last year, Small Business Saturday saw £717m spent in small businesses in the UK according to the Guardian, up 15% on the year before. So why not join in and support your local businesses? Find out what local businesses are taking part in your area at smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com, or search #smallbusinesssaturday on Twitter and Facebook.
#SmallBusinessSaturday around the UK
— Elevator UK (@ElevatorUK) October 23, 2017
— Visit Taunton (@visit_taunton) November 21, 2017
— Karen Campbell (@k_c_marketing) November 25, 2017
— HM Government London & South East (@HMGLondonSE) November 17, 2017
— Prince's Trust Cymru (@PrincesTrustWal) November 10, 2017