The UK’s annual Small Business Saturday took place on the 2nd of December and has immediately been hailed as another great success in a lot of local communities. However, many commentators have also used the time to highlight the importance of SMEs to the economy – and why more must be done to support them.
Small Business Saturday
The organisers of the annual event went all out to boost sales, deliver productive workshops and promote small businesses via an online directory and social media. Meanwhile the companies themselves put on their own activities to attract new and loyal customers, anticipating an increase on last year’s record £717m spend.
MP’s were also out in force to attend photo opportunities, drawing local press in areas including Oxford, York and Somerset. However, some commentators have raised concerns over whether enough measures are in place to aid small enterprises beyond this single special Saturday.
Stats from the The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), released to coincide with the nationwide event, have revealed the importance of the continued success of UK SMEs. Their number has risen by 200,000 this year, hitting a record high of 5.7 million. Together they generate £1.7tn of turnover for the economy – that's 50% of all private sector takings.
With so much at stake, The Forum of Private Business has taken the opportunity to renew calls for greater government support, particularly on the High Street. Managing Director Ian Cass argued that the government “lacks an understanding of the...[commercial]...environment”, and called on Westminster to “include Britain’s high streets as part of its industrial strategy plans.”
Capitalising on momentum
Whether MPs will answer the call is yet to become clear, but in the meantime organisations must take advantage of the momentum generated by the event. There’s still time to register on the free Small Business Finder and to create a newsletter or social media shoutout to all your new connections.
The increased awareness of related issues also presents an opportunity to seek greater understanding from customers and clients. Don’t be frightened to improve your cash flow with tighter and more timely invoicing processes, or to chase unpaid debt. And if you need further help recouping unpaid debt, contact a Dukes operator today.