Small Biz 100 announced

Thursday 3 September 2015

The buildup to this year’s Small Business Saturday, which will take place on December 5th, has already got under way with the launch of the Small Biz 100.

This is a promotional campaign designed to highlight some of the most exciting small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. Since August 28th, the event’s organisers have been highlighting one of the country’s top SMEs every day, and will continue to do so until Small Business Saturday arrives.

This will be the third annual Small Business Saturday to be held in the UK, although the event has been running for longer in the US. It was founded in 2010 by American Express as a way of generating media attention for local companies that would otherwise miss out on their turn in the spotlight. It was also conceived as a way of encouraging other businesses and the general public to find out about the SMEs in their area, with a view to boosting engagement all year round.

The date in December is particularly helpful, as it’s a great opportunity for shoppers to stock up on high quality and unique Christmas gifts.

The idea was first imported by then-shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, but has since grown year-on-year. Last year, it was found that 64 per cent of the UK was aware of the campaign, and 16.5 million people went out of their way to spend money with a local company as part of the event.

A wide variety of businesses are having their work highlighted by the initiative. A particularly good example is the Bristol-based IT support company Dial-A-Geek, which offers IT supports to homes and businesses. It has been able to help over 900 companies since it was set up in 2006, which reflects the potential value of SMEs when it comes to encouraging others to go into business in their area.

However, the full list is an intriguing snapshot of the ways in which people in the UK do business, encompassing everything from the well-established industries (such as garden centres and childcare providers) to the more unusual, which includes a skydiving company, environmentally friendly undertakers and even a zoo - as well as everything else in between.

Michelle Ovens, Small Business Saturday’s national campaign director, said: “Although the campaign focuses on one day, the goal is to have a lasting impact on small businesses by changing mindsets, so that people make it their mission to support small businesses all year round.

"Most people in this country own a small business, work for a small business or know somebody who does, so supporting a small business on Small Business Saturday is absolutely personal.”

Businesses who would like to get involved are able to download a set of logos, a social media guide and other marketing materials from the Small Business Saturday website, and encourage local people to visit them on December 5th. They can also upload their company’s details onto a new Small Business Finder, which is designed to make people aware of the number and variety of SMEs operating in their area - as well as making them easier to find and support.

By Victoria McDonnell

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