Small Business Saturday kick-started December’s festivities among the British small business community at the weekend.
With small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accounting for 99.9% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2018, and recent cuts to business rates, it’s a good time to start a business. And that’s why Xero is a proud supporter of Small Business Saturday.
Forget Black Friday, it’s all about Small Business Saturday
Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy: a vital part of local communities everywhere. While bigger high street retailers are struggling, research by American Express and GlobalData suggests that independent businesses will increase in number by 0.3pc between 2017 and 2023. That’s why Small Business Saturday – a grassroots, non-commercial campaign that champions UK small businesses and encourages consumers to shop local – was set up.
The campaign has been a great success, too – with 87% of local councils supporting it in 2017 and an estimated £748m spent with UK small businesses on the day.
On the road with the Small Business Saturday Bus Tour
As part of this awesome campaign, we supported the Small Business Saturday Bus Tour. The bus has been touring the country for the past five weeks, highlighting small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.
Along the way, some of the accounting partners we work with such as Evans & Partner, Raedan Limited and Chaddesley Sanford dolled out free advice to the local businesses – so I’d like to thank everyone who gave up their time to do that. It was really well received.
Michelle Ovens MBE, Director of Small Business Saturday, told us what it meant to have Xero on board: “The iconic Small Business Saturday Bus Tour is at the core of the campaign, taking the message of support and celebration to communities across the UK and reaching millions of people through media and social media.
“Xero has really helped us take the tour to a new level of excellence this year. Through their support and network of accountants, you could see their strong spirit of championing small businesses. With small businesses facing a number of challenges in the coming year, including Making Tax Digital, it is fantastic that we can all pull together to provide the support and encouragement they need.”
The final stop was at 11 Downing Street, where Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer kindly hosted a reception that we attended in celebration of the campaign.
Why it matters
Yes, it’s a good time to start a business, but it isn’t all plain sailing from then. Small businesses have got the uncertainty of Brexit to deal with as well as getting themselves ready for the tax revolution that is Making Tax Digital. It’s really important that we all give small businesses up-and-down the country the support they need to succeed. And the right financial management is a good place to start.
Small Business Saturday might be over for another year, but that doesn’t mean we should stop shopping locally. Let’s all keep the small business dream alive.
We know that cloud accounting software such as Xero helps small businesses better manage their time, so sign up for a free trial here if you’d like to check it out for yourself.