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Small businesses are a lot more common than you might think. The average private sector business in the UK employs less than 5 people.

Why is it then, that if we are looking to make a purchase eg a cup of coffee, a birthday card or a gift or even a lovely cut of meat for Sunday lunch, more often than not what springs to mind is one of the large retailers and chains.

Part of the answer is about convenience and our habits. However, a major factor has got to be the impact of the billions and billions of pounds large businesses have spent on advertising  (I was staggered to find that UK advertising spend is over £20 billion per annum, that’s over £300 per man, woman and child that lives here!).  These large businesses aren’t in the habit of wasting money, advertising obviously works for them, that is why, as we head towards Christmas all the usual suspects are spending like crazy to get you to spend with them.

A good example of this is the recent rise of #BlackFriday. A promotion which originated in the USA in the 1950’s (traditionally the day after Thanksgiving in the US) introduced to the UK by Amazon in 2010 and followed by ASDA as part of the American Walmart group in 2013. More and more retailers have joined the promotion over recent years with mixed success and news coverage ranging from people fighting over a cut price toaster to solitary individuals spending the night camped outside deserted retail outlets. Statistics show that the event generated a great deal of activity, according to an article in The Telegraph (30 Oct 16) in 2015 £2 billion was spent in that 24 hour period, with Amazon alone receiving orders for 7.4 million items, that’s around 86 items every second. So, big promotion generated lots of activity but was it good value? The same Telegraph article states ‘the data shows that in terms of the number of products priced at a discount, Black Friday is actually below average’ So after all the hype and having spent £2 billion, consumers would have had a better chance of getting a ‘bargain’ by not shopping on #BlackFriday.

So why does all this matter? What difference does it make if large chains drown out small businesses with their advertising? The answer to this is covered nicely by a Facebook post by Clive Lewis MP (Norwich) who said Buying Locally ‘means up to 60%-70% of your money stays locally compared to just 5-10% with large chains. So it was a great pleasure to visit small shops, do some Xmas shopping and keep it local.’  

This difference between what the large chains do with the money you spend with them, compared to a local a business is extremely significant. It can represent the difference between a thriving town and a dying town. The more money that is spent locally the more money is available for the wider community to invest and improve the facilities and the services available to us all.

Local businesses are inherently more rooted in and reinvest a greater share of their earnings in the local community they serve. They also are very often able to offer you something which is just that little bit different, something which is special or unique, and which represents great value; all of this with the added benefit of wonderful customer service.

So, as large businesses are competing against each other, both on the high street and online, to protect or improve their market share, it is increasingly important to help support all those small businesses which do such a great job in in their local community.

That is why Small Business Saturday is a big deal. It’s an opportunity for small businesses to have a day in the sun and collectively get their message across. Go on, show your support, give the small businesses in your area a chance to show you how good they are, you won’t be disappointed.

www.briarylocal.co.uk happy to support Small Business Saturday

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


Supporting Small Business Saturday