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Rowena Howie of Revival Retro

Temperatures may have been in the low digits over the weekend but Saturday saw the UK’s small businesses community benefit from the warmth of the British public who were out in force to support Small Business Saturday (3rd December 2016).

According to an American Express commissioned survey* undertaken in the 36 hours following Small Business Saturday, an estimated 717 million GBP was spent with small businesses across the UK. This was up 15% on Small Business Saturday last year with over half (57%) of those aware of the day saying they spent more than usual.

Over 80% of all local authorities covering the country actively supported the campaign on the day in a variety of ways, from staging or supporting small business events to offering free parking.

Positive consumer sentiment and support to small businesses was echoed through social media. Over 130,000 tweets were sent on the day itself reaching more than 120 million people, with Small Business Saturday UK trending at number one in the UK and at number 5 globally.

Michelle Ovens MBE, Campaign Director of Small Business Saturday said:

“In its fourth year, Small Business Saturday has once again delivered a sustained increase in spending with Britain’s small independent businesses. To see the spend on Small Business Saturday reach £249 million more this year than on the first Saturday in 2013, an increase of 53%, is fantastic and confirms the positive stories we are hearing from small businesses in communities across the UK."

Alice Noone, Vice President Marketing at American Express said:

“Small Business Saturday celebrates the vital contribution independent businesses make to our communities and we’re delighted that shoppers rewarded them with such significant spend on the day. We are immensely proud to be principal supporter of the campaign for the fourth year and hope it inspires people to shop small, not just on Small Business Saturday, but throughout the rest of the year”.

Rowena Howie, owner of Revival Retro, a small London retro fashion business said:

“Not only did we have more new shoppers and a higher footfall this year, we also saw a 35% increase in sales compared to the same Saturday last year.”

Carolyn Frank, owner of Libby Butler Jewellers in Helmsley, near York, said:

“For us in Helmsley the Small Business Saturday campaign has had a huge impact since its very beginning in 2013 but this year was absolutely the biggest and best yet. It’s become an established family tradition now for customers to start their Christmas by visiting small businesses on the day. But it's not just the day, people are more aware of small businesses all year round because of it. I think it's because it's a grassroots initiative that it's gathered pace so quickly, and has reminded customers about the great variety and choice that small businesses can offer.”

How the UK showed its support on 3rd December 2016:

· An estimated 717 million GBP was spent with small businesses across the UK on the day.
· This was an increase of 15% on Small Business Saturday last year.
· Over 130,000 tweets were sent on the day itself reaching more than 120 million people
· Small Business Saturday UK trended at number one in the UK and at number 5 globally.
· Politicians including the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition; entrepreneurs including Karren Brady, Sarah Willingham, Jacqueline Gold, 2014 Apprentice winner Mark Wright and Levi Roots, and British talent including singer and TV presenter Louise Redknapp; TV Cook and Chef Lorraine Pascale and fashion commentator Gok Wan all publicly supported Small Business Saturday.


Notes to editors

About Small Business Saturday UK

Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots campaign that encourages people to shop in local, small, independent businesses across the country. This year it took place on 3rd December 2016, American Express is principal supporter of the programme in the UK along with small business organisations, trade bodies, local authorities and community groups. Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in the USA in 2010 and arrived in the UK for the first time in December 2013. For more information visit

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on,,, and

*About – American Express Research
3,610 UK adults were polled by Toluna between 8pm on Saturday 3rd December 2016 and 8am on Monday 5th December 2016

Media Information:

Howard Robinson or Krishan Turner-Dave
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