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Small Business Saturday gives big boost to independent firms

Small Business Saturday 2016 experienced a 15% year-on-year increase in sales, with consumers making a commitment to use smaller, independent retailers across the UK’s towns and cities throughout the day.

The final total for sales has been announced as £717 million, with the event encouraging customers to “shop small” and favour the independent stores over high street chains.

Michelle Ovens, Campaign Director, Small Business Saturday, said: “To see spend reach £249 million more this year than on the first Saturday in 2013 – an increase of 53% – is fantastic.

“It confirms the positive stories that we’re hearing from small businesses in communities across the UK.”

The vast majority of local authorities supported the event, with 80% of authorities using tactics such as free parking to entice consumers in to local retailers and increase footfall throughout the day.

More than 130,000 tweets were sent talking about Small Business Saturday, with a reach of 140 million people, making the Small Business Saturday UK hashtag the fifth biggest trending topic globally.

A number of influential figures put their weight behind the cause, with Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, entrepreneurs including Karren Brady, Sarah Willlingham, Jacqueline Gold, and many others voicing the importance of the initiative.

Alice Noone, Vice-President of Marketing, American Express, said: “Small Business Saturday celebrates the vital contribution independent businesses make to our communities and we’re delighted that shoppers rewarded them with such significant spend on the day.

“We are immensely proud to be principal supporter of the campaign for the fourth year and hope it inspires people to shop small, not just on Small Business Saturday, but throughout the rest of the year.”

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