16.5million shoppers hit the local high street for Small Business Saturday

Consumers across the UK came out in force to support the UK’s second Small Business Saturday on 6 December 2014.

16.5 million people shopped in small independent businesses on the day, representing a 20% increase in footfall on last year or 2.7 million more shoppers at one of the busiest times of the year.

According to an American Express commissioned survey undertaken in the 24 hours following Small Business Saturday, almost two-thirds of UK consumers were aware of the day – a 33 per cent increase on last year. Of those, just over half shopped at a local, independently owned business on 6 December.

Tills in independent shops and small businesses rang in an average of £30.56 per person, which equates to a total of £504 millionacross the UK as a whole – up £36 million on last year.

Just over two fifths of those people aware of the day who shopped in a small business on 6 December said they spent more than usual, with a third saying they had spent at least 25 per cent more than they would usually on a typical Saturday.

Rafa Marquez, UK Managing Director at American Express, said: “It’s fantastic to see that so many people got behind their local independent traders this year by shopping small on the big day.

Small Business Saturday celebrates the vital contribution independent businesses make to our local communities and the growth of our national economy. We are confident it will encourage people to continue their support throughout the rest of the festive season and beyond”.

The day itself generated huge buzz on social media with Small Business Saturday trending at number one all day on 6 December.

Over 3.5 million people viewed posts on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page and more than 100,000 tweets were sent in support of Small Business Saturday in December, many using the hashtags #SmallBizSatUK, #ShopSmall and #SmallBusinessSaturday.

Michelle Ovens, Campaign Director of Small Business Saturday, said: “Small Business Saturday this year has been a fantastic demonstration of collaboration in communities across the UK, with local authorities, small business, trade organisations, big business and consumers really pulling together.

Small Business Saturday is now a regular event that shines a light on small businesses throughout the UK in a way that is hugely beneficial to both the local and the national economy.

Small Business Saturday will continue to showcase the level of diversity, innovation and talent that is active within our small business sector.”