This week, let’s turn the spotlight on all things local! On the 2nd of December, we’re getting ready to celebrate Small Business Saturday – a day dedicated to supporting our local, independent heroes and acknowledging the invaluable role they play in our communities. Born in the US, this holiday has crossed the Atlantic and found a warm welcome on our side of the pond. And can we just say, we’re absolutely thrilled about it! More love for our small independent businesses? What could be better?

In this blog post, we’ll explore why this celebration has become a staple on our calendar and uncover why it is essential to celebrate and support small businesses not just this year, but every year!

Unpacking Small Business Saturday

American Express takes centre stage in this celebration, with a rich history of supporting local businesses. As a proud founder of the inaugural Small Business Saturday in 2010 in the US, American Express continues to be a driving force behind the campaign, which is now entering its eleventh year in the UK. This movement has experienced remarkable growth, rallying millions of supporters annually. At its essence, Small Business Saturday, is a call to spotlight and elevate the indispensable contribution of small businesses during the holiday season, nurturing their growth and prosperity within the broader economy.

The campaign’s impact:

This celebration has not gone unnoticed. Small Business Saturday has earned its stripes with extensive media coverage and nods of approval from political and business figures. Tweets advocating for the cause have reached over 100 million people, turning #SmallBizSatUK and #SmallBusinessSaturday into trending topics throughout the day.

Last year’s Shop Small national campaign, leading up to the big day, was nothing short of a success. It was a vibrant showcase and celebration of small businesses across the UK. As a cherry on top, American Express cardmembers spending over £15 at participating small businesses on the day received a £5 credit.

From Humble Beginnings to Global Resilience

Originating in the US in 2010, Small Business Saturday has grown into a global celebration, paying homage to the resilience and dedication of entrepreneurs worldwide. The challenges inherent in the small business landscape are met with unwavering support from communities that extend well beyond the designated day. With partners like American Express, Small Business Saturday’s impact is set for continued expansion, providing sustained support to small enterprises.

The Importance of Small Business Saturday

Here are some of the ways why Small Business Saturday is important.

  • Supporting local economies

Small businesses are the backbone of local economies. When you choose to shop at independent retailers, you are directly contributing to the advancement of your community. These businesses create jobs, foster entrepreneurship, and infuse economic stability into neighbourhoods.

  • Preserving the unique charter of communities 

There are certain things that make a community stand out, and the quirky offbeat charm of local businesses is one of them. Whether it’s a family-owned bookstore, a boutique fashion store, or a quirky coffee shop, these establishments contribute to the distinct identity of a neighbourhood. By supporting them, you help maintain the diversity that makes each community special.

  • Building personal connection

Local businesses are more than just a place to make purchases, they are hubs of personal connections. It's not just about grabbing your morning brew; it’s about catching up with the friendly faces behind the counter. Small businesses often mean personal connections, where they know your name, your usual order, and maybe even your weekend plans. It’s the kind of connection you can’t swipe left or right for.

  • Keeping it green

Small businesses often prioritise sustainable and ethical practices. They source locally, cut down on the carbon footprint, and might just inspire you to adopt a few more planet-loving habits.

  • Encouraging creativity 

Small Business Saturday is like a stage for local entrepreneurship. These small business owners aren’t just selling their products, they’re sharing their passion and creativity. It’s a win-win for the creators and the customers.

How to celebrate Small Business Saturday.

Now that we’ve seen the incredible impact, let's explore some ways how you can celebrate Small Business Saturday. 

  • Shop local 

Swap the big-name chains for local businesses, cosy cafes, indie boutiques, and quirky shops in your area. You will definitely discover one-of-a-kind gifts this festive season.

Small Business Saturday UK has made finding local stores even easier with its small business finder. Just type in what sort of business you’re looking for plus the postcode area, and voilà you have a list of all the locally run businesses.

  • Spread the word

      Spread the Small Business Saturday love by sharing your favourite local spots, utilising hashtags, and encouraging your friends and family to join the local-loving squad. Within the last 7 days, #SmallBizSatUK has had 2.2k interactions and 2.2k shares. This is quite an impression, but if you share your own local spots, this number will only grow.  

  • Attend local events 

Many small businesses go all out on Small Business Saturday with events, discounts, and maybe even a bit of festive cheer. Head out and be part of the celebration – there’s nothing like the buzz of shopping in your local community.

Final Thoughts

As we gear up for Small Business Saturday, we should unite to celebrate the local magic that makes our communities vibrant and unique. Embracing the charm of your local businesses can foster connections and contribute to the growth of your community. Small Business Saturday isn’t just a day; it’s a celebration of the heartbeat of our towns.