Spend hits £1.1 billion on Small Business Saturday 2020

Spend on Small Business Saturday hit £1.1 billion this year, exceeding the billion-pound mark for the ‘first time ever’ as shoppers showed support for their local high streets.

The UK’s eighth annual Small Business Saturday, which took place on 5th December, saw 15.4 million people hitting the high street and shopping small, according to research commissioned by founder and principal supporter American Express. This represented a 2.2 million decline in footfall compared to last year, but the average per-person spend rose from £45.42 in 2019 to £70.74 in 2020, a 56% increase.

The campaign was supported by political figures across the country including prime minister Boris Johnson, chancellor Rishi Sunak, leader of the opposition Keir Starmer, first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and a host of members of parliament who visited small businesses to support the campaign in person, or virtually. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visited retailers on London’s Oxford Street to show support for the campaign.

“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,” said Michelle Ovens MBE, director of Small Business Saturday. “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.”

Charlotte Duerden, managing director UK, American Express, added: “Small businesses play such a vital role in their local communities and need our support more than ever. So, it’s truly good news that we’ve seen the biggest ever boost to spending with local independents this Small Business Saturday. What’s even more encouraging is that this commitment to shopping small looks set to continue, not just this month, but for the longer term.”

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