Shoppers are being urged to support their local independent shops this year and turn out in force for Small Business Saturday.
Research commissioned by Small Business Saturday UK and American Express, shows that the Coronavirus pandemic has boosted the nation’s love for their local small businesses, with 59 per cent saying they now support them more than previously. Now, the UK’s largest small business landlord, The Arch Company, is urging shoppers to turn that support into sales by buying products and services from local stores this Christmas.
Adam Dakin, Managing Director of The Arch Company, said: “We’re calling on shoppers across the UK to show their continued support by buying local this December. Whether in person, through click-and-collect or online, it could help to provide a vital lifeline for these businesses. 2020 has been the toughest year on record for many of the small businesses in our vibrant community of railway arch tenants. Despite this, many of them have innovated and pivoted to offer online sales and services, and carried out important work in their communities, providing food parcels for vulnerable people and supporting NHS workers. Consumers can also help by spreading the word to neighbours, leaving online reviews and following small businesses on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.”
Pete Brown runs Forest Road Brewery from an arch in Hackney. When the pandemic started, the brewery devised a unique way to support the NHS, bottling a new ‘Stay at Home’ lager and donating some of the proceeds to the NHS. Pete said: “We had beer in the tank due for kegs, but our market had all but dried up overnight and we had nowhere for it to go. We came up with the idea to bottle it and donate £1 for each one sold.” The beer raised thousands for the NHS and the team also delivered free bottles to staff working at their local hospital in Homerton.
Last year, British shoppers spent more than £800m on goods and services from small companies on Small Business Saturday alone, with a record 17.6m people choosing to support their local shops. This year’s event takes place on 5 December 2020 and it is now in its eighth year.
90 per cent of The Arch Company’s business tenants are SMEs. More than 1,350 of them received rent support and hundreds more received other forms of support to ensure they could survive the impact of lockdown.
 Small Business Saturday press release, 29 October 2020, www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com