Temperatures may have been in the low digits over the weekend but Saturday saw the UK’s small businesses community benefit from the warmth of the British public who were out in force to support Small Business Saturday (3rd December 2016).

According to an American Express commissioned survey* undertaken in the 36 hours following Small Business Saturday, an estimated £717 million was spent with small businesses across the UK. This was up 15% on Small Business Saturday last year with over half (57%) of those aware of the day saying they spent more than usual.

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Over 80% of all local authorities covering the country actively supported the campaign on the day in a variety of ways, from staging or supporting small business events to offering free parking.

Positive consumer sentiment and support to small businesses was echoed through social media. Over 130,000 tweets were sent on the day itself reaching more than 140 million people, with Small Business Saturday UK trending at number one in the UK and at number five globally.

Small Business Saturday Campaign

Michelle Ovens MBE, Campaign Director of Small Business Saturday said:  “In its fourth year, Small Business Saturday has once again delivered a sustained increase in spending with Britain’s small independent businesses. To see the spend on Small Business Saturday reach £249 million more this year than on the first Saturday in 2013, an increase of 53%, is fantastic and confirms the positive stories we are hearing from small businesses in communities across the UK.”

Alice Noone, Vice President Marketing at American Express said: “Small Business Saturday celebrates the vital contribution independent businesses make to our communities and we’re delighted that shoppers rewarded them with such significant spend on the day. We are immensely proud to be principal supporter of the campaign for the fourth year and hope it inspires people to shop small, not just on Small Business Saturday, but throughout the rest of the year”.

Rowena Howie, owner of Revival Retro, a small London retro fashion business said: “Not only did we have more new shoppers and a higher footfall this year, we also saw a 35% increase in sales compared to the same Saturday last year.”

Revival Retro

Carolyn Frank, owner of Libby Butler Jewellers in Helmsley, near York, said: “For us in Helmsley the Small Business Saturday campaign has had a huge impact since its very beginning in 2013 but this year was absolutely the biggest and best yet. It’s become an established family tradition now for customers to start their Christmas by visiting small businesses on the day. But it’s not just the day, people are more aware of small businesses all year round because of it. I think it’s because it’s a grassroots initiative that it’s gathered pace so quickly, and has reminded customers about the great variety and choice that small businesses can offer.”

How the UK showed its support on 3rd December 2016:
· An estimated £717 million was spent with small businesses across the UK on the day.
· This was an increase of 15% on Small Business Saturday last year.
· Over 130,000 tweets were sent on the day itself reaching more than 120 million people
· Small Business Saturday UK trended at number one in the UK and at number 5 globally.
· Politicians including the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition; entrepreneurs including Karren Brady, Sarah Willingham, Jacqueline Gold, 2014 Apprentice winner Mark Wright and Levi Roots, and British talent including singer and TV presenter Louise Redknapp; TV Cook and Chef Lorraine Pascale and fashion commentator Gok Wan all publicly supported Small Business Saturday.

*About – American Express Research

See coverage for this story placed by the Astute team in The Telegraph and on leading SME news website, Real Business.