Saturday sees annual celebration of indie retailers and small businesses in Britain
It’s Small Business Saturday this weekend – the day to celebrate local companies and independent retailers across the country.
The British Independent Retailers’ Association (BIRA) has been urging all its members to join in the nationwide celebration on Saturday, 2 December, which is in its 10th year and has been established as the UK’s most successful small business campaign.
Billions of pounds are spent across indie shops and companies on Small Business Saturday with greeting card and gift shops among those joining in the annual event that’s sponsored by American Express.
The annual 100-day countdown to this year’s event kicked off back in August with the grassroots campaign picking one company each day to highlight how much small businesses contribute to the country.
Maybugs’ co-owners Greg Rose and John Dale were in the frame with their trio of stores, in Hailsham, Eastbourne and Bexhill-On-Sea, on 24 September, for the 2023 SmallBiz100 – the only indie greeting card and gift shop picked for the honour this year.
Greg said: “At Maybugs being part of the local community is a cornerstone of our business, and we truly believe that we can only be successful if the other business and retailers around us are also successful too.”
Two other businesses chosen have greeting cards among their offer, with Bristol-based Independent Design Collective, which sells local artists’ works and cards including James Ellis, The Flower Girl Studios, Holly Flowers and Carla James, featured on 17 November, and 26 October highlighted The Cotswold Eco Company, where Jen Winnett Art’s designs are for sale.
The SBS team has also just finished the 2023 Tour which called at 23 towns and cities for five weeks from the starting point in Inverness on 30 October, down to the last stop in Richmond yesterday, 29 November, with a programme of online events running alongside, including workshops, mentoring and inspiring entrepreneurial stories, much of which can be seen on the Instagram and Facebook pages
SBS was created as a marketing initiative by the American Express in 2010 as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the US Christmas shopping frenzy dates that hit immediately after Thanksgiving so is always the last Saturday in November across the pond, but was moved to the first in December when it was brought over to Britain in 2013.
The finance company is very supportive with SBS and its Shop Small campaign, as Dan Edelman, from American Express Business explains in the video below.
BIRA ceo Andrew Goodacre said: “Small Business Saturday is a great, well-established initiative highlighting the benefits of shopping local and using independent retailers. As it’s the first Saturday in December it also provides an extra opportunity to retailers to make the most of the busy festive period.
“BIRA has supported SBS for many years and each year we want to make it bigger and stronger, even more so this year as retailers are facing the most difficult economic conditions.”
Andrew said he sees Small Business Saturday as an opportunity for members to not only boost sales, but also to foster a sense of community and loyalty among customers and, by participating in the campaign, BIRA contributes to the “broader movement of celebrating the vital role that small businesses play in local economies”.
Michelle Ovens cbe, director of Small Business Saturday UK, said: “The fantastic small businesses featured in this year’s SmallBiz100 sum up the phenomenal contribution that small firms make to our economy and local communities.
“It continues to be really tough out there in the economy for small businesses, so there is a huge need to celebrate our incredible small business economy and throw our arms around them. Small Business Saturday remains a critical and powerful way for the public to do this.”
There’s still time for greeting card retailers to get involved by downloading SBS logos and the marketing pack from the website, and they want to hear all about your activities so tag them on social media with the #SmallBizSatUK hashtag.