Small Business Saturday returns on 4 December and is calling on the nation to share a ‘big thank you’ with small firms to recognise their vital role throughout the pandemic.
The grassroots, non-commercial campaign celebrates small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and to support businesses in their communities.
On Small Business Saturday, customers across the UK go out and support all types of small businesses – everything from local independent shops and restaurants, to smaller service providers like accountants, personal trainers and dog groomers. Many small businesses take an active part in the day by hosting events, collaborating with other local businesses and offering promotions.
The campaign was started out of recognition of the contribution that small businesses make, particularly as the beating heart of communities. And the role they play in bolstering community spirit has never been more apparent than throughout the pandemic.
The last 18 months has seen small business owners step up and adapt to hurdles and challenges that nobody could have predicted – and they deserve to be celebrated for it.
There are countless examples of this – and we all have our own favourite independents that we love to support. Many helped us through lockdown – whether it was a warm coffee on a wintery walk, or a greengrocer that helped us get vital supplies.
Take Maurizio Dining Co., an independent pizza restaurant in Cambridge.
“It was our local community that supported us and got us through the pandemic,” said co-founder Maurizio D’Apollonio, “it was only natural for us to reciprocate!
“We supported other local businesses by offering a local bike delivery service and also donated dry pasta goods and hot pizzas to local food hubs, supporting their work however we could.”
And while eating in was curtailed by various restrictions and/or lockdowns, Maurizio Dining Co. wanted to make people smile as they passed their restaurant window.
“We put up an art display depicting two mannequins having a dinner date with pizza and wine – and we were delighted when it featured on award-winning artist Grayson Perry’s Art Club TV series!”
They also pivoted during the pandemic to start their own pizza delivery service, keeping their existing customers satisfied during lockdowns, and creating lots of new local fans.
Ma Baker, a micro-bakery formerly based in London but which has now moved to North Wales, is another example. In 2021 it won the Heart of Gold Award at the Small Awards, in recognition of the support owner Liz Wilson provided to her local and online communities.
During lockdown, Ma Baker delivered fresh bread to those who were self-isolating, as well donating freshly baked goods for a local food bank. She also provided online classes for any budding bakers at home, as well as lots of mentoring . Owner, Liz Wilson said:
“It is so important to support your local community as a small business”
“Small businesses live amongst and are at the heart of their local community – particularly in my own case, as Ma Baker is run by just myself.
“And because we are small and more intwined with those locally, opportunities to serve local food banks and garner support are not only easy for small businesses to get involved in, but are also vital in fostering a healthy and happy local community.
“I am so proud I have been able to help out where I can – particularly during such hard and unprecedented times.”
On 4 December, its time to say a huge thank to our amazing small businesses, for all they do and continue to do for us. Whether you show your support online or on your local high street its time to get behind small businesses and show them the love.
To get involved in Small Business Saturday 2021 visit – smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com – and follow the campaign #SmallBizSatUk.