Customers Vote With Their Feet As Record Numbers Hit The UK High Street for Small Business Saturday

Self-published
  • 17.6 million people turned out at small businesses on the UK’s seventh Small Business Saturday – a record for the campaign and an increase of more than four million people from 2018
  • Shoppers spent an estimated £800 million with small businesses on the day
  • #SmallBizSatUK and #SmallBusinessSaturday were the UK’s top two Twitter trends during the day
  • More than 250 small business organisations supported the nationwide initiative, including the Federation of Small Businesses
  • Politicians including the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Mayor of London all publicly supported Small Business Saturday

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December 9, 2019
LONDON

A record number of Britons came out in force to show their support for small independent businesses on the UK’s seventh annual Small Business Saturday this weekend (7 December 2019).  17.6 million shoppers across the UK hit their local high streets to provide an important boost for the nation’s 5.8 million 1 small businesses.

An estimated £800 million was spent in small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday, according to research* commissioned by founder and principal supporter American Express.

Ahead of Thursday’s General Election, candidates in constituencies across the country including the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn and members of both their frontbenches visited small businesses to support the campaign.

They were joined in support of Small Business Saturday by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also showed their support for the campaign, which encourages consumers to shop, eat and trade small with their local independent firms.

Small Business Saturday also drew high engagement on social media, with #SmallBizSatUK and #SmallBusinessSaturday the UK’s top two trends throughout the day.

Michelle Ovens MBE, Director of Small Business Saturday said: “In its seventh year, Small Business Saturday has once again captured the hearts and minds of the nation, with record numbers turning out in support of Britain’s small businesses.

“With a net growth of 200,000 small businesses across the UK since 2018, there are more heroes than ever before to celebrate for the work they do in their communities and local economies. This year we have been telling people to go out and find their local hero, and people have voted with their feet, with over four million more people choosing to shop small on Small Business Saturday than in 2018.

“It was also fantastic to see such widespread cross-party support for Small Business Saturday ahead of the General Election. With 17 million people in the UK employed by small businesses, they impact and are impacted by every major policy area, and so it was important politicians joined the public in giving the sector a boost.”

Caroline Bouvet, Vice President at American Express, said: “Small businesses play such a vital role in their local communities so we are delighted to see that record numbers have come out in support of them at this busy time of year. We hope that our Shop Small campaign will encourage people to show their support for independents by shopping small all year round.”

A grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010. American Express remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small. American Express is incentivising Cardmembers to support their local small shops with its Shop Small offer.  Whether it’s purchasing gifts for friends and family, or a personal treat during the festive season, when American Express Cardmembers spend £10 or more at participating small businesses between 7 – 22 December 2019 they will receive a £5 statement credit**.

Small Business Saturday took place following months of build-up and anticipation, with the annual Small Biz 100 announced in August recognising 100 small businesses delivering incredible value for their communities.

The annual Small Business Saturday Bus Tour, which travelled to more than 25 town centres across the country in just under 30 days, provided an opportunity for small business owners to receive expert mentoring.

1FSB, Small Business Statistics, 2019

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Small Business Saturday
A grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010. American Express remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small.

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.

On Small Business Saturday, customers across the UK go out and support all types of small businesses, online, in offices and in stores. Many small businesses take part in the day by hosting events and offering discounts.

About American Express:
American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, Accertify, InAuth, corporate card, business travel, and corporate responsibility.

*About – American Express Research:
4,021 UK adults were polled by Toluna between 5pm on Saturday 7 December 2019 and 10am on Monday 9 December 2019. 

£800 million figure calculated using ONS mid-2018 estimation of the UK adult population.

**Shop Small Offer only available to UK issued American Express Cards with the exclusion of Lloyds Bank, Corporate and Pre-Paid Cards, enrolment required, available in-store, participating merchants only, once per location, up to £50 back per Card.

Media Contact

AMERICAN EXPRESS
Anne Tyrer
Anne.E.Tyrer@aexp.com

HOPE & GLORY PR
Jen Murdoch
Amex@hopeandglorypr.com

About American Express

American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com, and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, Linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

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