Small Business Saturday: a step in the right direction

The UK’s first-ever Small Business Saturday, held on Saturday the 7th of December, was by all accounts a resounding success, and is now set to become an annual event.

According to accounting experts at 1st Contact, the UK's first-ever Small Business Saturday was a resounding success.

According to accounting experts at 1st Contact, the UK’s first-ever Small Business Saturday was a resounding success.

Small Business Saturday is good news for the estimated five million small businesses operating in the UK today.

The initiative, driven by shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna, was imported from the USA, where it launched in 2010 as a day set aside to recognise, celebrate and support small businesses. Often described as the lightweight counterpart to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to buy products at small, local, brick and mortar stores.

Last year alone, Small Business Saturday generated $5.5bn in sales for small American businesses. What’s more, the event has also been linked to an increase in longer-term trade.

According to Scott Brown, Manager of 1st Contact Accounting, “So much advertising revenue goes into driving consumers towards mass retail, with local businesses relying on word-of-mouth and relatively tiny marketing budgets. This kind of campaign is a step in the right direction – it gets feet into doors and showcases what’s available locally.”

The aim of the UK’s first campaign was to draw attention to the millions of small businesses in the UK, who between them account for almost half the turnover of the private sector.

Consumers flocked to participating high streets, stalls, markets and pop-up shops across the country to take advantage of special promotions and sample what their local small businesses had on offer.

Small businesses account for almost half the turnover of the UK's private sector. photo credit: jovike via photopin cc

Small businesses account for almost half the turnover of the UK’s private sector. photo credit: jovike via photopin cc

The campaign was strongly supported by the Prime Minister and some 200 members of Parliament, including Labour Leader Ed Miliband, Enterprise and Skills Minister Matthew Hancock and Business Secretary Vince Cable.

The on-going publicity generated by the event will benefit small business in the long run, says Brown.

“Through this campaign, government has pledged to free small business from unnecessary burdens; there is talk of tackling the issue of late payment to get credit flowing in the private sector; and ministers have agreed to spend £100m on internet connections to further assist small firms.”

“Getting out and about and speaking directly to the shopkeepers, restaurateurs and other small business owners is the only way to truly understand what is needed to help local business not only survive, but also thrive,” he added.

Visit 1st Contact Accounting if you would like small business advice or assistance in setting up a limited company.