Counting down to Small Business Saturday 2014

The following press release was issued by the promoters of Small Business Saturday, which held its Scottish launch in the Capital earlier this month.

The countdown to this year’s Small Business Saturday event on December 6th - when small, independent businesses in communities across the country will be in the national spotlight - has begun in Scotland with a launch in the City Chambers, Edinburgh.

Business owner Cherith Harrison at the City Chambers for the launch of Small Business Saturday 2014

PIC: Business owner Cherith Harrison sets up her stall at the City Chambers, Edinburgh 

"The first Small Business Saturday last year was an exceptional example of collaboration and co-operation with small businesses teaming up in communities around the UK," explains National Campaign Director Michelle Ovens.

"We always said we wanted this to be the start of something amazing; a regular event that shines a light on small businesses throughout the UK in a way which is hugely beneficial to both the local and the national economy. Small Business Saturday reinforces that message and demonstrates the level of diversity, innovation and talent that is active within our small business sector," Michelle adds.

Councillor Frank Ross, Economy Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said he was delighted to see the return of Small Business Saturday following last year’s successful launch. He said: "The pre-Christmas period is an important time for many retailers and events like this help stimulate interest and sales for independent traders. I would encourage everyone to support their local shops and other businesses every Saturday but especially on Small Business Saturday 6 December as vibrant town centres are crucial to the success of Edinburgh’s economy. 

"The Capital is home to a diverse and prolific range of independent retailers and other small enterprises across our town centres and beyond. Around 200,000 people live within 1km catchment of our town centres and over 25,000 people are employed within their immediate area which is why we’re committed to continuing with our Building Stronger Town Centres programme."

Cllr Frank Ross speaks at the Scottish launch of Small Business Saturday 2014, City Chambers

PIC: Councillor Frank Ross, Economy Convener, speaking at the launch event

Also speaking at the Edinburgh launch was Mark Roper, Vice-President & General Manager, Head of Merchant Services UK at American Express, which originated the Small Business Saturday concept in the USA in 2010 and which remains a prominent supporter of Small Business Saturday in the UK.

He said: "American Express recognises the huge contribution small businesses make to the UK economy. As the founder of Small Business Saturday in the USA four years ago, we are delighted to be actively supporting the campaign in the UK. We look forward to working alongside other supporters to champion independent businesses and encourage everyone to get involved and support small businesses up and down the country."

Senior politicians led by the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Ed Milliband; Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne; Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable; Chuka Umunna, the Shadow Business Secretary and Matthew Hancock, the Minister of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, all took to the streets last year to encourage consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses.

Speaking about Small Business Saturday 2014, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, comments: "I have the utmost admiration for the millions of people who run a small business in this country. They are making an enormous contribution to our economic recovery and their hard work and commitment embodies all that is great about the UK. Small Business Saturday is a vital reminder that we need to celebrate small businesses not just on one day, but all year round."

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said: "It is fantastic news that Small Business Saturday is returning in 2014, having been such a huge success last year. As well as making a huge difference for small firms it was great to see it attract support from consumers and local authorities right across Britain. I look forward to Small Business Saturday being even bigger and better this year - a great opportunity to celebrate and promote small businesses and the contribution they make to our national life."

Small Business Saturday UK has attracted the support of leading business organisations including Federation of Small Businesses, the Association of City and Town Management, Association of Convenience Stores, Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association, as well as corporates like American Express, O2, Lloyds Bank and NatWest and prominent entrepreneurs Theo Paphitis, Karren Brady and Martha Lane Fox. 

The research taken after the event in December 2013 also showed that some 43% of shoppers chose to do so specifically because of Small Business Saturday.  Those consumers who knew about the day and took to their local high street spent between £1 and £2000 on the day, with tills in independent shops and small businesses ringing in an average of £33 per person which equated to a total of £468 million across the UK as a whole.

Indeed 45% of those aware of the day who shopped in a small business on 7 December said they spent more than usual, with nearly one in five (19%) saying they had spent at least 50% more than they would have usually done on a typical Saturday.

American Express founded the hugely successful ‘Small Business Saturday’ initiative in the U.S. in 2010 and is an active supporter of the programme in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small.

More information on Small Business Saturday, participating retailers and details on promotions and other incentives to ‘shop locally’ can be found on the Small Business Saturday Facebook pageTwitter and at www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com.


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