Today's the day: Small Business Saturday is back for a fourth time

Rebecca Smith
Small Business Saturday is encouraging people to shop local instead of at the big retailers today
Small Business Saturday is encouraging people to shop local instead of at the big retailers today (Source: Getty)

Small businesses in London: brace yourselves for a very busy day.

For Small Business Saturday has arrived and the nation is being encouraged to shop local and support their small firms.

The UK is home to 5.5m small businesses and they're responsible for 60 per cent of private sector employment and contribute £1.8 trillion in turnover after all.

The annual grassroots initiative is now in its fourth year and wants to build on last year's progress: customers spent £623m with small firms on the day last year, up £119m or 24 per cent on 2014.

Read more: Downing St wants to spend £1 in every £3 on small businesses by 2020

Of those surveyed, 46 per cent shopped small specifically because it was Small Business Saturday and local authorities are getting in on the action too - over 80 per cent supported the campaign last year (up from 53 per cent in 2014) offering free parking on the day and holding events.

Business ministers will also be visiting independent firms in their constituencies this weekend in celebration of Small Business Saturday.

Small business minister Margot James said: "Our small businesses are the life-blood of our communities. From the shops that provide life's essentials, to the inventors who change the way we think about the world, we have much to thank our small businesses for."

Read more: Here's how the mayor wants to improve office access for London's startups

It comes soon after the announcement that large companies will be required to publish details on how quickly they pay their suppliers, under draft regulations published by James.

The Duty to Report will come into force in April next year making large firms and limited liability partnerships publicly report on their payment behaviour twice in the year, to shine a spotlight on those paying late.

Get involved:

  • Social will of course be active: last year Small Business Saturday trended throughout the day with over 100,000 tweets sent in support: you can join in with the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK
  • Want to get out there, but not sure which businesses you might have near you? SBS has a firm finder for you, just whack in your postcode and see what's nearby

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