Momentum for a Small Business Saturday in the UK has grown following a show of support from trade organisations and government.
First proposed by shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, Small Business Saturday is designed to emulate a similar scheme in the US which has been running since 2010.
The US scheme, which takes place on the last Saturday in November, was backed by celebrities Jessica Alba and Serena Williams and generated an additional $5.5bn (£3.6bn) worth of sales for independent retailers over the Christmas period in 2012.
So far, seven business organisations, including the Association of Convenience Stores and the Federation of Small Businesses, have offered their support for the initiative while the Conservative Party has offered to work with the owner of the Small Business Saturday rights, American Express, to ensure it goes ahead on December 7, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.
Umunna called for support from local authorities for the scheme. “As a nation, we do not celebrate nearly enough what small businesses do,” he said. “On its own, a UK Small Business Saturday will not transform the fortunes of our small businesses but, as the US experience demonstrates, it gives us all an special opportunity to do our bit to ensure those who take risks, set up shop and provide jobs in our local communities get more of the recognition they so deserve, by making a point of spending our money in their businesses on the big day. It’s time to back our small businesses.”
Prime Minister David Cameron also jumped on the Small Business Saturday bandwagon by offering his support on social media site Twitter while celebrating Independents’ Day. He said: “A big thank you for all they do and I’m backing Small Business Saturday on Dec 7.”