Shoppers back Small Business Saturday with 8 per cent increase on last year’s spend

Small Business Saturday 2018 smashed all of its previous records this weekend, with an estimated £812 million spent in small businesses across the UK. According to research carried out by founder and principle supporter American Express, this was up from the £748 spent during last year’s event as 59 per cent of shoppers “spent more than usual” with indie firms.

Support for the campaign came from 90 per cent of local councils – a three per cent increase on 2017 – calling for the nation to shop local and support the 5.6 million small businesses across the country.

Positive consumer sentiment and support for small businesses on a local level was echoed through national government with the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mayor of London all supporting the campaign.

The event also drew high engagement on social media. Tweets sent on the day reached more than 100 million people, with #SmallBizSatUK and #SmallBusinessSaturday trending in the UK’s top five. Facebook and Instagram posts were also up on 2017 with more people sharing stories.

Small Business Saturday director Michelle Ovens MBE comments: “In its sixth year, Small Business Saturday has once again captured the hearts and minds of the nation, boosting spending with Britain’s small independent businesses. It has been a challenging year for the high street, and so to see the amount spent on Small Business Saturday yet again is fantastic. Year-on-year, small businesses prove their importance to their communities, and consumers up and down the country respond with incredible support for and engagement in this important campaign.”

Caroline Clifton, founder of Brighton gift boutique Present in the Laine and Small Biz 100 member, adds: “Small Business Saturday has once again highlighted how important it is to shop small and shop local. This is vital for so many reasons, not least because it keeps my small business going, but also because it affords me an opportunity to support other small and local businesses – my suppliers. It is a day that draws customers in, which in turn allows small businesses to support one another in this way.

“In six years in the UK, Small Business Saturday has achieved such great things and engaged millions of people with businesses in their local areas. It shows that the high street is still thriving and that small businesses remain at the heart of their communities.”

Small Business Saturday is a grassroots not-for-profit campaign that was originally founded by American Express in the US in 2010.