Christmas is now fast-approaching and the buying of presents is undoubtedly reaching its frantic zenith.
On Saturday (4 December), independent businesses up and down the UK will be marking their equivalent of the Thanksgiving sales period.
Small Business Saturday is essentially the small business version of Black Friday and acts as a reaction against the power of the major High Street retailers.
So what exactly happens during this event?
Here’s what you need to know.
What is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday originally began in the USA in the depths of the last economic recession in 2010.
At the time, many small businesses were disappearing from high streets due to the crash.
It was founded by payment card business American Express, which says it kickstarted the event because it “believes small businesses are at the core of every thriving neighbourhood”.
Rather than focusing on price cuts, the Small Business Saturday movement is targeted at encouraging people to go into their local shops.
In the USA, the event takes place on the Saturday immediately after Thanksgiving, meaning it directly competes with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Is there a UK version?
Small Business Saturday first launched in the UK in 2013, with American Express acting as the event’s principal partner.
The UK version calls itself a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which aims to highlight small businesses’ successes and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’.
"Throughout the crisis we have been reminded of the special role that small firms play in local communities,” said director of Small Business Saturday UK, Michelle Ovens, at the launch of the 2021 edition of the event.
“As the UK recovers from the pandemic, small businesses still face considerable challenges to get back on their feet and it’s important we continue to support them.”
Many small businesses across the country get involved by hosting special events and some shops do offer discounts.
The eponymous organisation that oversees Small Business Saturday promotes the event by listing participating businesses on an interactive map.
Small Business Saturday has already visited towns in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England, with stops scheduled in Wales as well as the South West and South East of England over the next two weeks.
Politicians from the UK’s main political parties usually turn out to support Small Business Saturday.
In recent years, everyone from former Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, has been pictured sampling the delights of independent shops and businesses.
When will Small Business Saturday take place?
Small Business Saturday typically takes place in the UK on the first weekend of December.
The 2021 edition will be held on Saturday 4 December.
In 2020, the event was estimated to have seen £1.1bn spent at small businesses across the UK, with more than 15 million Brits turning out to support it.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our email newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.