Aspiring small retailers

By | News & Politics
Photo © Henry Ruggeri/Corbis

Last year, US consumers spent a total of $5.5bn (£3.4bn) on goods from independent merchants under an American Express sponsored initiative dubbed ‘Small Business Saturday.’

In January, Labour MP Chuka Umunna called for UK adoption of the retail scheme, which encourages consumers to buy from small, local shops on one Saturday a year. Small Business Saturday began in 2010 in the States, and takes place in November on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, between Black Friday, which caters to big retailers and Cyber Monday; which targets online businesses.

Mr. Umunna has proposed 7th December as the date for the annual consumer incentive. He said: “Establishing a Small Business Saturday in the UK, a concept which has enjoyed considerable success in the US, would provide a small however simple and effective way to celebrate local, small businesses and encourage more people to buy from them on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.”

The Department for Communities and Local Government, which is already taking action to support small traders in England, has said that it is open to the idea. “We’re determined to offer practical support to our High Streets, which is why we’ve doubled the amount of small business rate relief to new and smaller shops,” said Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk.

Mr. Umunna has reached out to American Express with his proposal to create a UK version of the shopping day. If adopted, the scheme may commence in December 2013.

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