Scots firms in spotlight in this year's Small Business Saturday UK campaign

“Inspirational” entrepreneurs from across Scotland are preparing for this year’s Small Business Saturday UK, as the campaign gets under way in advance of the event in December.

The initiative aims to “support, celebrate and send out a big thank-you to small businesses for the important role they play within communities”, adding that this has been particularly true throughout the pandemic.

This year showcases a range of 100 independent businesses from across the country in its 2021 SmallBiz100. The list includes Glasgow’s Ellis Gin; Runach Arainn luxury eco-glamping resort on the Isle of Arran; and The Crafty Crow, an artisan pizza restaurant, haberdashery and craft shop in Dumfries and Galloway.

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Small Business Saturday is now in its ninth year in the UK, and returns on December 4 following its “record-breaking” success last year that saw an estimated £1.1 billion being spent across the country on the day.

'We are thoroughly delighted to have been recognised in the Small Biz 100,' says Ellis Gin founder Carol Jackson. Picture: contributed.

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This year, the 2021 Small Biz 100 features a range of environmentally conscious small firms, to highlight their important role in tackling the climate crisis ahead of COP26 in Glasgow this November.

Other sustainable Scottish businesses recognised in this year’s Small Biz 100 include Sandwick Bay Candles, a handcrafted soy candle company in Stornoway; The Re:Store zero waste refill shop in Moray; and Wilder Waves, a sustainable and ethical clothing brand.

Small Business Saturday UK director Michelle Ovens said: “Throughout the crisis we have been reminded of the special role that small firms play in local communities. The stories of this year’s Small Biz 100 really bring this to life.

Sustainable Scottish businesses recognised in this year’s Small Biz 100 include The Re:Store zero waste refill shop in Moray. Picture: Talha Imam.

"As the UK recovers from the pandemic, small businesses still face considerable challenges to get back on their feet and it’s important we continue to support them.”

Ellis Gin founder Carol Jackson said: “2020 was a challenging year for all businesses – especially small businesses. But they are the fuel for economic recovery and it’s important to recognise and celebrate them up and down the country. Shopping local is more important than ever. We are thoroughly delighted to have been recognised in the Small Biz 100 alongside so many other fantastic small businesses.”

Encouragement

Small Business Saturday UK describes itself as a grassroots, not-for-profit campaign that celebrates small business success and encourages consumers to shop small and support firms in their communities. It was started by American Express in the US in 2010.

Dan Edelman, general manager UK, global merchant and network services at American Express, said: “This year’s Small Biz 100 goes to show just how creative and vibrant our small business community is in the UK.

"More than ever, it feels important to celebrate the achievements of all the independent businesses that go above and beyond for their customers every day. We’re honoured to play our part supporting them through our Shop Small campaign and as principal supporter of Small Business Saturday."

The latter sees customers go out and support all types of small businesses, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Many small businesses promote the day by hosting events and offering promotions.

Those behind the campaign say that last year it trended at number one in the UK on Twitter, with the Prime Minister, leader of the opposition, and Mayor of London among those publicly supporting the campaign, and was backed by more than 90 per cent of local councils.

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