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What is Small Business Saturday? The antithesis of Black Friday

Big retailers’ huge Black Friday marketing campaigns can mean independent retailers get overlooked  (AP)
Big retailers’ huge Black Friday marketing campaigns can mean independent retailers get overlooked (AP)

Although the dust has settled after busy Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, there is still another major shopping event to enjoy.

Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, retailers worldwide offer significant discounts and deals to shoppers on Black Friday.

Given its popularity, companies now make week-long events of it and have created Cyber Monday to bookend the spree. While the extravaganzas benefit large enterprises and shoppers looking for a quick deal, local businesses and independent shops often get lost in the mix.

The cost of living, energy crises, and high inflation, combined with the after-shocks of the pandemic, mean Small Business Saturday is more important than ever.

So what exactly is it and how is it the antithesis of Black Friday?

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign that aims to support small businesses across the UK by encouraging consumers to shop locally at independent stores.

This is in contrast to Black Friday, which tends to offer mass consumerism.

The day is celebrated on the first Saturday of December, which this year is December 2.

American Express created the marketing initiative in 2010 in the US.

As in previous years, the Small Business Saturday UK initiative has also been touring the UK in collaboration with BT Skills for Tomorrow. Held in 23 towns, this gives people a chance to celebrate and support small businesses involved.

The last in-person gathering before Small Business Saturday comes around is taking place today (November 29) in Richmond Park, London, between 10am and 4pm.

How to support Small Business Saturday

The best way that shoppers can take part is by supporting small businesses on Saturday, and even after the retail celebration ends.

Small Business Saturday UK has also created a useful map, called the ‘Small Business Finder’ that helps people search for small businesses near them. The tool lists all the small businesses nearby and provides contact and social information for them.