Kate writes a bi-weekly column for the Burton Mail. This column was originally featured in the 4th December print edition.
Saturday 5th December is Small Business Saturday, which is a fantastic opportunity for retailers to promote their business in the current difficult market conditions. This campaign takes place annually on the first Saturday in December and is now in its eighth year here in the UK, and this year it is more important than ever to small businesses. On 2nd December lockdown lifted and retail opened up again in time for the run up to Christmas. In a year when our High Streets have suffered unprecedented hardship this is our opportunity to support local small businesses which are at the heart of our community.
Small Business Saturday has grown annually and last year there was a record turnout of 17.6 million people across the UK who chose to shop “small” on the day spending an estimated £800 million. This year is undoubtedly different due to the pandemic, and businesses have suffered financial hardship, but with Christmas just around the corner what to us is just shopping is everything to them, and they are relying on us to get behind them.
Small businesses have been forced to rethink their business models almost overnight and they have adapted and found creative ways to keep on serving our communities. Many have branched out into online sales which has meant not only reaching customers just around the corner but also further afield, new customers that will hopefully keep returning in the future long after we emerge from the pandemic. Their entrepreneurship and ingenuity deserve our support.
Businesses have put in place wide-ranging measures to make their premises COVID safe – plastic partitions at tills and hand sanitiser combined with the wearing of face masks, make shopping in the High Street as safe as possible. By spending money in our local small businesses shoppers can play their part in aiding the national recovery. Now more than ever it’s important to shop local and support the High Street and shops in our communities, to preserve them for future generations.