What is Small Business Saturday? The antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday

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)

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

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

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

But, what is Small Business Saturday and how is it the antidote to 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 and show up for independent stores in their communities.

The day is celebrated on the first Saturday of December, so this year it falls on December 3.

The marketing initiative was created in the United States by American Express in 2010. This year will be the 10th year the UK celebrates the shopping occasion, with American Express working as a principal supporter.

The Small Business Saturday UK initiative has been touring the nation in collaboration with BT Skills for Tomorrow since October 31, holding events in 23 towns and cities ranging from workshops to mentoring sessions.

There are a few in-person gatherings left to go before Small Business Saturday comes around. These are:

  • Monday, November 28 – Walthamstow, 10am to 2pm

  • Tuesday, November 29 – BT One, Aldgate, 10am to 2pm

  • Wednesday, November 30 – Brixton 10am to 2pm

If those aren’t near where you live, there are some virtual workshops happening. These are:

  • Monday, November 28 – TikTok: The dos & don’ts, 11am to 12pm

  • Tuesday, November 29 – How I Grew My Business Online: Tips and Advice, 11am to 12pm

  • Wednesday, November 30 – How to kickstart your sales 11am to 12pm