The organisers of the Small Business Saturday event have estimated that UK shoppers spent £1.1 billion on the day, as shoppers showed support for their local high streets after a tough year.
The UK's eighth annual Small Business Saturday, which took place on 5 December 2020, saw 15.4 million people hitting the high street and shopping in independent retailers. Research commissioned by Small Business Saturday founder American Express has revealed that spend exceeded the billion pound mark for the first time ever, even though there was a fall in footfall.
Toluna polled 3,701 UK adults on behalf of American Express and found that the average per person spend was £70.74, up 56% from £45.42 in 2019. These figures indicate that UK shoppers spent £1.1 billion in small retailers on the day, using ONS figures for the UK adult population.
Of the shoppers who took to the high street on Small Business Saturday, 48% said they chose to spend money with small businesses as they wanted to support them after a tough year. Small Business Saturday also drew high engagement on social media, with #SmallBusinessSaturday trending throughout the day.
Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday, said: "It is fantastic to see such phenomenal, record-breaking support for small businesses, in one of the toughest years many have ever experienced. Small Business Saturday has been running for eight years, but this year's campaign has been our most vital. We are delighted that it's generated such a massive boost for small businesses, at a time they are facing huge challenges with the ongoing effects of the pandemic.
"I have no doubt that this strong support for small businesses has been driven by recognition of the critical role they played in our communities during lockdown. So many firms worked hard to pivot and adapt their businesses during this national emergency, often stepping in to offer useful services, vital products, as well as being a source of practical support and kindness, particularly for the NHS and frontline workers.
"While there is light at the end of the tunnel for 2021, with a vaccine, this winter is still going to be tough for many small businesses and it's so important that we all continue to support them. This year Small Business Saturday is not just about one day, but all of the small actions that individuals can do across the winter to add up to one big impact."
American Express is also incentivising its card holders to support their local small shops with its Shop Small offer. From 5 to 20 December 2020, they will receive a £5 statement credit when they spend £10 or more in-store at participating small businesses. The offer is valid for use up to ten times, once per participating location, which means shoppers can earn a total of £50 in statement credits.
Written by Rachel Miller.