Small Business Saturday Comes to UK

Small Business SaturdaySpeaking back in January, shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna expressed great interest in having a Small Business Saturday in the UK.

The event is an American initiative to promote interest in small businesses and, in the USA, it is held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (The fourth Thursday in November).

Over the three years since its inception Small Business Saturday has helped to boost business for independent retailers, with shoppers spending an estimated $5.5bn (£3.6bn) over the Christmas period last year.

Now Small Business Saturday is officially coming to the UK and is set for a 7th December 2013 launch.

Backed by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) amongst a number of other business organisations, Small Business Saturday will be a day to celebrate and do business with Britain’s small firms.

The Association of Convenience Stores, British Independent Retailers Association, Forum of Private Business, the National Federation of Retail Newsagents and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association have all backed the initiative.

Mr Umunna said of the forthcoming event:

"I want to make Small Business Saturday a reality in Britain to actively champion, celebrate and showcase small, independent businesses on one of the busiest shopping days of the year."

The business secretary reflected on the positive effect that Small Business Saturday had in its home land:

"Small Business Saturday has been a great success in the US and has grown into a movement, boosting spending in small businesses by $5.5bn last year."

The American version of the initiative is a glitzy affair with celebrity endorsements urging shoppers to "shop local".

Last year, the US Small Business Saturday was endorsed by President Barack Obama, tennis star Serena Williams, Sin City actress Jessica Alba and American basketball and football stars.

Over the pond the initiative is backed by the credit card firm American Express who own the copyright to the name Small Business Saturday anmd a spokesperson for the firm said:

"American Express has a strong tradition of working with small businesses and we are currently considering how we can support a UK Small Business Saturday initiative later this year."

The support for small businesses is very welcome and at a time when it appears that the Labour party are attempting to champion the cause of the SME.

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