Business First | How do I get involved in Small Business Saturday…

Small Business Saturday 2016

01 Nov 2016 –– Events
Business First supports Small Business Saturday

What is Small Business Saturday 2016?

Small Business Saturday 2016 is on the horizon.

This year, the event, which aims to promote local businesses around the country and increase the public’s spending with small firms, takes place on Saturday the 3rd of December.

Small Business Saturday is a national campaign to celebrate small businesses and the value they add to the character of local communities, throughout the UK.

A grassroots, non-commercial campaign, Small Business Saturday looks to highlight the success of small businesses and encourage consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

Although the day itself takes place on the first Saturday of December each year, the campaign aims to have a lasting effect on small businesses.

Small Business Saturday began in 2013 and has been headed up by Michelle Owens, MBE, since its inception.

Michelle Owens is a business strategist by trade and has spent many years helping businesses to succeed. As a result of her work, she was awarded her MBE for Services to Enterprise in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2015.

How can you get involved?

As part of its campaign, Small Business Saturday has created the Small Business Saturday 100 – a list of 100 (101 this year, we’ll explain shortly) small businesses to watch – and has been releasing one per day, via its social media channels, since August.

There is also the Inspire Series, which consists of a programme of free talks and workshops, situated at various venues around the country, covering a range of topics to help to inspire and support start-ups and small businesses.

There are high hopes that this year’s event will build on the success of 2015, when Small Business Saturday saw £623,000,000 spent at small businesses throughout the UK. An increase of £119,000,000 on 2014.

Michelle Owens said of the 2015 event: “The British public has a great affection for small businesses, and we continue to see that grow year-on-year.

“Although the campaign focuses on one day, the goal is to have a lasting impact on small business by changing mindsets, so that people make it their mission to support small businesses all year round.”

So, if you want to get involved, offer to hold an event or workshop at your business centre or office. Or, if you're a consumer, take a look at the businesses involved and, if you like them, get a few of their products.

What sort of businesses does Small Business Saturday champion?

The Small Business Saturday 100 (101 this year) consists of a wide range of companies from all over the UK.

From traditional tea-rooms and greengrocers, like Mitchell’s - a family run business, based in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire - which was established in 1928 and is now in its fourth generation of family management.

To a lingerie boutique called Embrace, that specialises in lingerie for women affected by cancer. Embrace is being profiled on the same day as another lingerie business, Sipsey Lingerie, which provides a bra fitting service for women who have undergone mastectomies.

So whatever your plans for Saturday the third of December, why not make it a Small Business Saturday and support businesses in your local community, and maybe grab yourself some fantastic Christmas gifts, too?

To keep an eye out for Small Business Saturday events and businesses in your area, follow @SmallBizSatUK on Twitter, or like the Facebook page.

Or for the full list of the Small Business Saturday 100, take a look here.