Saturday 3rd of December marks the tenth annual Small Business Saturday in the UK. A grassroots, non-commercial campaign that originated in the United States in 2010 and, like many recent retail events, was incorporated into the UK’s retail calendar. Shop Local aims to highlight small businesses and encourage consumers to shop in and support these businesses. Significant this year as businesses face increased business costs and customers who are saving rather than spending.
American Express both founded and incentivised their customers shopping locally. This year they are offering customers £5 for £15 spent using their Amex card in a single transaction in businesses who have signed up for the Shop Local event. This £5, paid by American Express, can be gifted up to 5 times. This means that by shopping in small businesses, Amex customers can receive £25 back from the money they spent. This money being gifted back could hugely benefit customers during this next month of Christmas shopping.
A movement that is supported by traditionally opposing parties
Businesses would have been excited about the prospect of 2022: a new year and a new opportunity for businesses to rebound in a post-covid and lockdown society. The reality is that this year has presented businesses with just as many challenges as the year prior. The UK was home to 5.47 million small businesses at the start of the year. The cost-of-living crisis increases business costs such as materials and energy prices and decreases the consumer’s ability and willingness to spend rather than save. As a result, Quarter 2 saw 113,700 businesses close, a rise of 8% compared to Quarter 2 in 2021. Within the retail industry alone, closures were up 40%. Additionally, Q2 was the fifth consecutive quarter to see more business closures than creations. Local businesses are at the heart of many communities and need support this festive season.
Keeping small business running into 2023 is vital to local economies. A report by Visa found that shopping locally can double the amount of money in the local economies. That is why campaigns like Shop Local and Colour Friday are essential to support and celebrate the millions of UK businesses. Previously, the campaign has received public support from current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. A movement that is supported by traditionally opposing parties. Shop Local has also been endorsed by Labour leader Keir Starmer, Nicola Sturgeon the leader of the Scottish National Party, and Sadiq Khan the Mayor of London. The campaign unites opposing leaders with the common cause of saving small businesses.
Why shop small?
-By shopping small many businesses can thrive. For example, when supporting a local restaurant, you also support any local suppliers they may use.
-Shopping small both creates jobs and supports them. Small businesses are the heart of communities and often form their hubs. For example, they make up high streets and shopping centres. The very amalgamation of small businesses drives tourism. In turn, restaurants, hotels, and bars also benefit. Small and medium businesses create millions of jobs. In 2021, SMEs employed 16.3 million people. This relates to 3 in 5 people employed by small and medium businesses. Therefore, when these businesses thrive, jobs are created and maintained.
-Shop small, shop sustainably. Often shopping in local businesses is the more sustainable option. This is due to the often-shorter manufacturer-to-consumer life cycle. Many small businesses either source materials or create their products locally.
-You matter to small businesses. When you shop small, your custom matter. Small businesses may not have high stock levels or as competitive prices compared to larger businesses. However, when buying locally, you vote for uniqueness and diversity in products and business.
How you can support small businesses this Saturday and every Saturday:
-Make even one swap in your purchasing habits this Christmas season. Buy your Christmas tree locally, buy your roast dinner staples from local greengrocers or butchers, or get some of your Christmas gifts from independent businesses.
-Actively and constantly look for new businesses to shop in. Try an independent bookshop rather than buying from chain retailers or online giants.
-If you have a small business you love, let everyone know! Share and review your favourite local businesses with colleagues, friends, and family. Also, share on your social platforms. Some small businesses may be unable to allocate large amounts of funding towards advertising and marketing and need happy customers to refer their business.
Faster Processing giving businesses their cash advance ahead of the New Year
For small businesses, having access to your profits is essential this December. Having your funds work around your business type can mean businesses can replenish stocks quickly. Faster Processing was made to give businesses a cash advance, allowing both same day funding and hourly funding. Why wait for your profits this Christmas? Replenish your stocks and pay your staff using Faster Processing.