WITH the cost-of-living crisis post the COVID-19 pandemic there has never been a more important time to “shop local” and support small businesses on Small Business Saturday, tomorrow, December 2.
Prior to the pandemic the changing spending habits on the high street were already in decline, with COVID-19 forcing even more people to shop online.
The cost-of-living crisis, with rising costs, has put an even tighter squeeze on margins, especially for small businesses.
Small Business Saturday celebrates the contribution small businesses across the UK make to the local and national economy, so Small Business Saturday marks the opportunity to make an extra special effort to shop local and support the local economy, whether this be in your local area shopping centre or in Warrington town centre.
The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is urging its members to join the nationwide celebration of Small Business Saturday, a grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, which has become a beacon for supporting local businesses across the UK.
Now in its tenth year, Small Business Saturday has established itself as the most successful small business campaign in the UK, leaving a lasting impact that resonates throughout the year. Since its introduction to the UK in 2013, the campaign has captivated millions, with billions of pounds being spent at small businesses on this special day.
In Warrington South, Andy Carter MP has already been out meeting small business owners across his constituency to thank them for supporting the high street and providing local jobs.
Small and medium businesses make up 99.9 per cent of the 5.6 million businesses in the UK, employing almost 17 million people and contribute £2.4 trillion to the economy. Last month in the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced that the Government will freeze the small business rates multiplier for a fourth consecutive year, saving an average shop £1,650 on their business rates bill and benefitting a million British businesses.
The Government is also extending the Retail, Hospital and Leisure (RHL) relief meaning 230,000 properties will benefit from almost £2.4 billion in support, protecting small businesses in the high streets and town centres. The Autumn Statement also included the announcement that the Government will end the scourge of late payments to support businesses with their cash flow.
This recently announced support is in addition to tax cuts for smaller businesses when they employ more staff and a lower rate of corporation tax for smaller firms, protecting them from excessive tax bills so they can focus on growing their business.
Mr Carter said: “Small Business Saturday is a fantastic day to celebrate all our small businesses and traders here in Warrington South. In the town centre and our villages we have so many brilliant businesses across a whole range of sectors including retail, services, manufacturing and hospitality.
“I always try and pay our local businesses a visit when I’m out and about in the constituency, so this week it’s been especially great to meet with so many small business owners across Warrington to thank them for all they do by providing jobs for local people and driving our local economy.”
Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake MP said:“Small businesses are the backbone to the economy – they are the ones investing, creating new opportunities and bringing life to our town centres.
“Alongside cutting business rates the Government is supporting small businesses with tax cuts to employ more staff, access to the finance they need and ensuring small businesses are paid on time to avoid cash flow issues.
“By supporting small businesses the Government is making the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business, attracting investment in every corner of the country.”