The popularity of small businesses has rocketed through the pandemic, with over half (51%) of people in the UK saying they now back local independents more than previously.
The research, commissioned by Small Business Saturday with its principal supporter American Express, also found 49 per cent of people feel greater positivity towards small firms than before the pandemic.
Giddy Goat Toys is one such business seeing a rise in public support that is translating into greater local sales and demonstrates these research findings.
“Lockdown was an anxious time for our business, however we have been delighted to see footfall and sales actually increase above 2019 levels,” said owner Amanda Alexander.
“Customer loyalty and public support has played a huge part, and we've really benefited from being able to trade online over the last 18 months. Many of our regulars told us how much they have loved returning to our shop, and lots of people have said that they are aiming to support local independent businesses more, which is really touching”
The Small Business Saturday campaign will return for its ninth year in the UK on 4 December, following record breaking success in 2020 which saw an estimated £1.1 billion spent with small businesses on the day.
This year the campaign aims to again support small firms facing a challenging winter and is calling on people to show their thanks for the vital role these firms play in communities.
“The surge in support for small businesses underlines just how much our independents mean to people. The pandemic has brought home their absolutely critical role in helping communities and enriching all our lives,” said Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK.
“Strong support from the public is critical for small businesses, many of which are heading into an uncertain period, with Covid-19 and supply chain issues continuing. It is really vital that people keep backing small firms throughout the winter months and beyond.”
Small Business Saturday, which was originally founded in 2010 in the US by American Express, aims to celebrate small business success and encourage consumers to 'shop small’ and support businesses in their communities.
“This research shows that the nation is behind small businesses like never before and really speaks to the powerful connection these businesses have with their local communities," said American Express' General Manager UK, Global Merchant and Network Services, Dan Edelman.
"It’s so important that we all continue to support our favourite independents on Small Business Saturday and beyond, and we’re proud to play our part through our own Shop Small campaign and as principal supporter of Small Business Saturday.”