Small Business Advice

What is Small Business Saturday?

Jack Oneill

What's all the fuss about and why should you get involved?

You’ve heard of Black Friday, you might even have heard of Cyber Monday, but just what is Small Business Saturday?

Originally launched over in the United States in 2010, Small Business Saturday aims to help small, local retail businesses cash in on the Christmas rush – an occasion often reserved for corporate chains.

Small Business Saturday in the UK

While Small Business Saturday first began in the US, it was introduced to the UK five years ago as a counter point to Black Friday and Cyber Monday which tend to benefit big businesses as opposed to smaller operations.

It’s a completely grassroots movement which highlights small business success and encourages people to shop locally and support small businesses in their communities.

Small businesses often don’t have the budget for PR and marketing, so the campaign aims to provide this, telling consumers about the amazing small businesses around them and encouraging them to see for themselves.

As a small business, you’re able to download posters and logos from the Small Business Saturday website to help with your marketing. You’re also invited to get involved in the conversation on social media – all completely free of charge. Share what you are doing on Twitter using the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK, and the Small Business Saturday team will do everything possible to promote you.

When is it?

The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses. Small Business Saturday 2018 takes place on Saturday 1st December.

Last year’s Small Business Saturday saw local businesses across the UK take a total of £623 million, an enormous increase on the 504 million businesses made in 2014.

As well as this, a huge 82% of local councils across the UK have backed the campaign, adding to the small business appeal by offering free parking, closing roads and supporting Christmas markets or fairs.

Okay but what about Shop Small?

Similarly, Shop Small is a campaign created by American Express that works with and promotes small businesses across the UK.

A founder of the original Small Business Saturday in the US and an active supporter of the movement here in the UK, AMEX is encouraging people to go out and shop small and local on Small Business Saturday and beyond. It encourages American Express Cardmembers to use their card at participating locations.

This year, when card members spend £10 or more at a participating small business from1st – 16th December, they will receive a £5 credit back. It costs nothing for businesses to take part and if your business is eligible, you’re automatically enrolled. Your business will also be displayed on the Shop Small online map.

Share your updates on social media using #ShopSmallUK. Both Small Business Saturday and Shop Small celebrate the important role that small businesses play in our communities.

Where do XLN come in?

Since 2002, we at XLN have been fighting the utility giants to offer more than 400,000 small businesses a better deal on phone, broadband, energy, card processing and Wi-Fi. We’ve changed the game with a unique service culture, and our low price guarantee. We support small businesses exclusively: the companies that make up 99.3% of the private sector and power our economy. And we encourage everyone to do the same – on Small Business Saturday and beyond.