Traders prepare for Small Business Saturday

Wednesday 3 December 2014

This weekend is all about limited companies, sole traders and other micro-businesses as Small Business Saturday is set to take place.

It is a day intended to encourage people to support their local businesses both on and off the high street.

Small Business Saturday is now in its second year and has gained the support of all major political parties, while organisations such as the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has thrown its weight behind the event.

The FSB has planned a number of local events across the UK, which are intended to highlight the value of small firms to MPs and councillors. These political figures will have the opportunity to visit independent traders and talk to local businesses.

On top of that, the FSB has supported the Small Business Saturday campaign bus, which will be visiting a number of cities, including Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham and London.

For the FSB, the event isn't just about supporting local shop buts also getting businesses to think about ways that they can better support their local suppliers.

Small Business Saturday ties in well with the FSB's year-round campaign of Keep Trade Local. This calls on decision makers to think about small businesses as being at the heart of the community while decision makers procure, plan and develop town centres. The FSB also asks MPs and Peers to join the #ibacksmallbusiness social media campaign, which aims to support small businesses.

Speaking about Small Business Saturday, chairman of the FSB John Allan said: "Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to remember the small businesses at the heart of our communities.

"When consumers see the diversity and value on offer, we hope it will make them more inclined to use local small firms, leading to booming local economies and more diverse high streets.

"The UK's 5.2 million small businesses are driving the economic recovery and Small Business Saturday helps to remind us what fantastic firms are out there."

Last year, over £460 million was spent in local firms during Small Business Saturday. Research from Direct Line shows that this Saturday is predicted to generate £540 million for small enterprises in the UK, which is up by £100 million from last year. Additionally, 47 per cent of respondents said that they expect they will support the initiative.

The idea for Small Business Saturday is a retail initiative that was taken from the US, as was Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This day has been running for five years across the pond and sales are estimated to be worth $3.5 billion (£2.2 billion) on the day there.

Small Business Saturday is intended to ask consumers to turn away from large corporations for the day and take their custom to smaller businesses. Further to that, it is hoped that these consumers will stay loyal to those small companies.

It isn't just open to retail firms to get involved, any small business can take part irrespective of whether their customers are consumers or other businesses.

By Victoria McDonnell

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