Spending on Small Business Saturday Up Nearly 30% in the UK

Aimée Madill, founder of Phlox Books in London, helps celebrate the 10th year of Small Business Saturday in the UK. Photo credit: David Parry/PA wire.

Brits rallied to support their local shops, restaurants and cafés as Small Business Saturday celebrated its 10th year in the UK, with £774m (approximately $921m USD) spent in small businesses nationwide, according to research commissioned by American Express, the founder and principal supporter of Small Business Saturday.

The total spend was up nearly 30 percent (29.4 percent) vs. last year, with 12.8 million shoppers taking to spending with local small businesses. Independent cafés, butchers, bakers and grocery stores were among the businesses seeing the lion’s share of the boost.

“This Small Business Saturday showed a huge vote of support from the nation for small businesses, just at a time when they really need it the most,” says Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday. “It’s clear that the UK remains a great place to start and build a business and that the general public’s affection for small businesses not only continues, but grows year on year. As we celebrate a decade of Small Business Saturday, once more we see small businesses shining a beacon of hope for our high streets and our economy.”

American Express research shows that despite the current economic environment, shoppers “are demonstrating a real sense of community spirit” and the importance of small businesses: 70 percent of people said that over the past decade, they’ve become more aware of the positive impact small firms have on their local communities. In addition, 65 percent say they will continue to shop at small businesses throughout next year because of the impact it has on their local community.

“Our research shows there were more than two-and-a-half-million more people shopping small this Small Business Saturday compared to last year,” says Dan Edelman, vice president and UK general manager, merchant services, American Express. “Despite tough external challenges, shoppers appreciate their local small businesses and the valuable contribution they make to their communities – which is why we’ll continue to back them all year round.”