Small Business Advice

Small Business Saturday: what it is and why you should get involved

Charlotte Harwood

We explain what Small Business Saturday is, and why your business should get involved.

If you run a small business, you might have already heard of Small Business Saturday – but for the uninitiated, here’s our need-to-know guide on what it is and why you should get involved.

What is Small Business Saturday?

Traditionally taking place during the first weekend of December, Small Business Saturday is a nationwide event designed to promote the millions of small businesses across the UK. It’s been running for three years now, and growing in popularity ever since. 2014’s event saw over 16 million people show their support for local independent businesses, and an estimated 64% of the UK’s population were aware of the campaign – a 33% increase on the previous year.

Small Business Saturday has the backing of some serious names from the corporate world, including sponsorship by financial services conglomerate American Express and support from all major political parties.

What happens on Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is more than just the day that the name suggests. Events actually kick off during the build up to the eponymous Saturday, culminating in a whole day of promotion dedicated to raising awareness of Britain’s SMEs.

The campaign’s Inspire Series runs throughout the year in the build up to the main event, and includes a series of free workshops run by experts in various areas of business, Q&A sessions with entrepreneurs, and support for start-ups and existing small businesses. Check out the Inspire Series calendar to stay in the loop.

There’s also a nationwide bus tour stopping at locations up and down the UK helping to spread the word of Small Business Saturday and encouraging consumers to shop independent and support our SMEs.

Why your small business should get involved

In the 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday, the team behind the campaign picks one small business to highlight per day. Those 100 small businesses not only gain exposure on Small Business Saturday’s social channels and in the local press, but they also get to join the team at a reception with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. For small businesses and start-ups, this is an opportunity not to be grumbled at – and with growing awareness of the initiative among consumers, it’s an unparalleled chance to get your name out there.

Even if your business isn’t one of the highlighted 100, taking part in Small Business Saturday gives you an opening to promote your business and benefit from a growing number of consumers that are actively seeking to support the local independent scene.

Find out more about Small Business Saturday and register your interest in upcoming events