Almost three-quarters (74%) of small business owners believe the cost of living is making it increasingly difficult to rely on Christmas income. 61% say the season hasn’t been the same since the Covid-19 pandemic.

A survey of independent business owners finds the peak season is becoming less reliable as a source of income as the campaign calls on the public to support their favorite small businesses on this weekend’s Small Business Saturday. The mission of the campaign, which takes place on 2 December, is to support and celebrate the UK’s 5.5 million small businesses by encouraging people to buy ‘local’ and identify small businesses in their communities. support.

Small Business Saturday was originally set up by American Express in the US in 2010 and remains the campaign’s main supporter in the UK. The campaign has been running in the UK for ten years. Small Business Saturday involved millions of people and billions of pounds were spent on small businesses. Additional research commissioned by Small Business Saturday and American Express also found that the holidays will be critical to the fortunes of 86% of small businesses. More than two-thirds say Christmas is their most profitable time and crucial to maintaining their finances over the years. Winter and heavier periods.

Every single chocolate produced by Kate Rumsey's company is handmade and therefore has already cost a lot.  Kate is hoping for a strong festive season and is looking forward to Small Business Saturday 2nd December
Every single chocolate produced by Kate Rumsey’s company is handmade and therefore has already cost a lot. Kate is hoping for a strong festive season and is looking forward to Small Business Saturday 2nd December

Kate Rumsey, owner of Rumsey’s Handmade Chocolate, said: “After slower than expected sales in September and October, we are now really hoping for a strong Christmas period. Not only is this critical to the future of our company, but it also sets the tone for the next year. This affects both the investment decisions and the annual salary reviews we can make for our amazing team.

As fears of a recession rise again, campaigners say small businesses continue to face a range of challenges and need targeted support over the winter. More than three-quarters (78%) of business owners believe they are most affected by economic challenges, and 31% say inflation remains a major problem.

On Small Business Saturday, customers across the UK will be around to support small businesses of all kinds, both online and in physical stores. from independent shops and restaurants to small service and B2B businesses such as accountants and plumbers. Many small businesses celebrate the day by hosting events, running promotions and partnering with other local businesses.

Despite ongoing economic challenges, Small Business Saturday data also showed that small businesses remain optimistic: almost half (45%) are confident about the next six months and 22% are diversifying their operations to overcome obstacles. This includes a growing trend for collaboration between local businesses, with 73% working together to address economic challenges.

Mark Battistini, owner of Fantastic Things in Dorset, said: “Christmas is our busiest time,” said: “A good Christmas is vital to our business and to all the artisans, manufacturers and suppliers who rely on us to . “We really hope people shop at local small businesses this holiday season.”

Michelle Ovens CBE, director of Small Business Saturday UK, added: “This time of year is crucial for small businesses and this research shows just how uncertain it is becoming given the turbulence of recent years.”

“If we all make a conscious effort to support our favorite small businesses, we can change this situation together. Every penny spent in a small business, every like on social media, every review posted, every recommendation made shared has power and when combined it all makes a big difference. We need small businesses this winter as much as we need them.”

The Minister for Small Business and the Mayor of London are among those who have already publicly supported this year’s campaign.

The Little Cheesemonger in Prestatyn, Wales, is just one of 5.5 million UK businesses to be celebrated on December 2 as part of the Small Business Saturday campaign
The Little Cheesemonger in Prestatyn, Wales, is just one of 5.5 million UK businesses to be celebrated on December 2 as part of the Small Business Saturday campaign

Kevin Hollinrake, Minister for Small Business, said: “On this year’s Small Business Saturday, I’m calling on everyone to join me in supporting the small businesses at the heart of our towns and cities and their local online businesses. “

“Every purchase made locally this holiday season is an investment in our local communities and the hardworking entrepreneurs who are at the heart of the places we call home.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Small Business Saturday is a great initiative celebrating smaller local businesses and the important role they play in our communities. Small businesses are vital to London’s economy and we need to support them to overcome the ongoing cost of living challenges.

“I want businesses to thrive in the capital and I’m encouraging Londoners to get involved this weekend. By supporting local businesses, we can help create a better, fairer and more prosperous London for everyone.”

In addition to encouraging the public to shop small, organizers are also asking people to support their favorite independent businesses in other ways, whether by leaving positive reviews or spreading the word among friends and family.

Dan Edelman of American Express said: “As the campaign enters its second decade, it remains just as important. We are proud to play our part in supporting small businesses as a long-standing key supporter of Small Business Saturday UK and through our Shop Small campaign, which encourages our cardholders to shop and visit independent local businesses throughout the year spend. “

More information about Small Business Saturday can be found here