Small Business Saturday boosts local spending, campaign organisers report


Consumers across the UK came out in force to support the UK’s second Small Business Saturday on 6 December 2014, according to the campaign’s organisers. 16.5m people were reported to have shopped in small independent businesses on the day, representing a 20% increase in footfall on last year or 2.7m more shoppers at one of the busiest times of the year.

According to an American Express commissioned survey undertaken in the 24 hours following Small Business Saturday, almost two-thirds (64%) of UK consumers were aware of the day – a 33% increase on last year. Of those, just over half (51%) shopped at a local, independently owned business on 6 December.

Tills in independent shops and small businesses rang in an average of £30.56 per person, which equates to a total of £504 millionacross the UK as a whole – up £36m on last year.  Just over two fifths (42%) of those people aware of the day who shopped in a small business on 6 December said they spent more than usual, with a third (33%) saying they had spent at least 25% more than they would usually on a typical Saturday.

Rafa Marquez, UK managing director at American Express, said: “It’s fantastic to see that so many people got behind their local independent traders this year by shopping small on the big day. Small Business Saturday celebrates the vital contribution independent businesses make to our local communities and the growth of our national economy. We are confident it will encourage people to continue their support throughout the rest of the festive season and beyond”.

The day itself generated huge buzz on social media with Small Business Saturday trending at number one all day on 6 December. Over 3.5m people viewed posts on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page and more than 100,000 tweets were sent in support of Small Business Saturday in December, many using the hashtags #SmallBizSatUK, #ShopSmall and #SmallBusinessSaturday.

Michelle Ovens, campaign director of Small Business Saturday, said: “Small Business Saturday this year has been a fantastic demonstration of collaboration in communities across the UK, with local authorities, small business, trade organisations, big business and consumers really pulling together. Small Business Saturday is now a regular event that shines a light on small businesses throughout the UK in a way that is hugely beneficial to both the local and the national economy. Small Business Saturday will continue to showcase the level of diversity, innovation and talent that is active within our small business sector.”

How the UK showed its support on 6 December 2014:

  • Thousands of small businesses participated in the campaign, with many running special discounts and offers to encourage consumer spending on the day
  • Circa 55% of all UK Local Authorities supported the campaign
  • 60 cities/towns implemented free parking to encourage increased footfall
  • More than 100 small business organisations supported the nationwide initiative including the Federation of Small Businesses, Association of Convenience Stores and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association
  • David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, George Osborne, Vince Cable and Chuka Umunna were among the hundreds of MPs who pledged their support for the day
  • Over 15 corporations backed the campaign including American Express, O2, Lloyds, RBS / Natwest, Barclays, Notonthehighstreet, Vonage, Scottish Power and Aldermore Bank along with high profile entrepreneurs Karren Brady, Martha Lane-Fox and Theo Paphitis and British talent including model Daisy Lowe, artist Sir Peter Blake and filmmaker Heidi Greensmith