The fourth year of the campaign, which last year saw £623m spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday, an increase of £119m or 24 per cent on the previous year.
The campaign trended at number one in the UK on Twitter on the day with more than 100,000 campaign-related tweets being sent. Over 75 per cent of local councils supported the campaign, giving considerable national reach into local communities.
As with previous years, events will be planned throughout the UK in the run-up to and on Small Business Saturday itself, including an expanded nationwide bus tour, details of which will be announced later in the year and the annual search for 100 small businesses to be profiled each day in the 100 days leading up to December 3rd, the Small Biz 100. Small businesses will be encouraged to get involved and create special events or promotions themselves to mark the day.
Once again, the campaign will be running Inspire, a nationwide series of free workshops run by experts and entrepreneurs for existing and aspiring small business owners. The workshops are all informal and participatory, with each followed by a Q&A and live Twitter Q&A. The events are streamed live online and are also available on the Small Business Saturday YouTube channel after each event. Next up is the StartUp Sales Bootcamp with Anis Qizilbash, founder of Mindful Sales Training on Thursday May 12th.
New for 2016 is a Small Business Saturday UK podcast, with information about the campaign as well as features of general interest to small business owners.
The first edition, which looks at goals for this year’s campaign, the burgeoning UK pet sector and why Belfast is a small business hotbed, is available for free download now from the iTunes Store – search “Small Business Saturday UK” – or via the following link:
Michelle Ovens MBE, Director of Small Business Saturday UK, said: “Last year, small business owners, local authorities, a wide range of other organisations and members of the public embraced Small Business Saturday more than ever before.
“The British public has a great affection for small businesses and tapping into that continues to be important. The small businesses themselves really make the campaign as they effectively deliver it on the ground and collectively show the depth and breadth that exists within the sector.
“This year we aim to reach more people, get more engagement, and encourage more people to support small businesses. We will be talking a lot about community because whether they are selling to consumers online or in a particular location or b2b businesses working together and doing business together, our small businesses are a community that benefits both our local and national economies.”
Small Business Saturday, which is a grassroots, not-for-profit campaign also benefits from the backing of leading business organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Enterprise Nation and Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association.
American Express originally founded the ‘Small Business Saturday’ initiative in the US in 2010 and continues to support the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small. The campaign is also supported by PRS For Music, TalkTalk Business and Vistaprint.
More information can be found on the Small Business Saturday UK Facebook page, Twitter page (@SmallBizSatUk) and website www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com.