Small Business Saturday 'most crucial ever' as firms battle soaring costs and spending squeeze

Today’s Small Business Saturday has been described as the “most crucial ever” as business owners up and down Scotland tackle soaring energy bills, a consumer spending squeeze and the onset of recession.

As the campaign gears up to celebrate ten years in the UK, new data has revealed just how tough the current economic climate is proving for small businesses. According to research from the campaign’s main supporter, American Express, 66 per cent of the UK’s small businesses see rising costs as the biggest challenge to running their business over the next six months, with 61 per cent citing the rising cost of energy and half pointing to economic uncertainty. Some 69 per cent are continuing to diversify their business to respond to the current crisis, after 72 per cent did so in the immediate wake of the pandemic.

Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK, said: “Small businesses are the life and soul of our economy, society, and communities. But with everything they have been through, many are now really finding things tough as economic conditions worsen. Public support is urgently needed. We need to all show our favourite small businesses just how much we love and appreciate them this weekend and beyond. It can have a transformational impact.”

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On Small Business Saturday, consumers across the UK go out and support all types of small businesses, both online and in bricks-and-mortar stores - from independent shops and restaurants to small service and business-to-business outfits such as accountants and digital marketeers. Many small businesses celebrate the day by hosting events, offering promotions and collaborating with other small businesses.

Laura Paterson, owner of Glasgow-based small candle and gift maker Earth, Mother & Soul, said: “It’s really important that we celebrate small businesses and shop locally. This supports our families, especially in the current climate, and celebrates all the hard work, effort, attention to detail and long days that go into building a business. The Small Business Saturday campaign has massively helped me develop my small business, by way of their support and opportunities to grow through training, workshops and more. The training and support provided has enabled me to grow on social media and also within my community.”

Laura Paterson who runs eco-friendly candle and gifts business Earth, Mother & Soul in Glasgow is celebrating Small Business Saturday.

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