Small Business Saturday UK is coming up on Saturday, December 1, and is a great opportunity for all of us – small business owners and customers alike – to celebrate what a big difference these small businesses make to their communities.

The grassroots Small Business Saturday UK campaign, which was originally founded in the US by American Express in 2010, aims to encourage consumers to shop small.

Its focus is on retail, but small service-based businesses can benefit from the same principles of encouraging people to use a local provider ahead of a national chain or large corporation.

Small businesses are awesome. Each and every one brings something different to the table and gives the town or village where it is located its unique flavour.

Here are five reasons why supporting a small business locally is so good for all concerned.

Small businesses make your community unique

Imagine your home town if its high street was filled entirely with national chains. Each town would be almost identical to the next and every high street would sell exactly the same things.

It is the small businesses which give your town or village its unique character.

It’s the independent butcher, the shop selling local crafts and produce, the cafe, the baker. It’s also the hairdresser, the solicitor, the accountant, the designer and the printer (to name just a few) who provide valuable services to local people and other small businesses.

They all make up the fabric of a community and give each its individual identity.

Supporting small businesses improves the local economy

Figures show that a higher proportion of the money you spend at a small local business will remain within the local economy.

This is possibly because small business owners have more of an incentive to support other small businesses whose owners are within their personal or professional network.

You know the people behind the business

Large businesses can soon become faceless organisations with no personality, but when you interact with a small business you get to know the people behind it. You begin to build a relationship and you know they can be trusted to deal with your inquiries and concerns.

You receive a personalised service

Following on from the previous point, when you become a repeat or regular customer at a small business and build a relationship with the owner and the team, they will begin to understand your needs, likes and dislikes. This will enable them to tailor their service to you.

You are not just a number, you are a valued customer.

You receive better customer service

This also follows on. Many of us will have experienced that feeling of just being a faceless customer when dealing with a large customer service department of a national chain. That doesn’t happen with a small business.

Each and every customer is important to a small business, and, as the business owner is more likely to have control over all aspects of their operation, they are more likely to be able to deal with any questions or complaints you have quickly and efficiently.

What’s more, they are motivated to do so to keep your custom.

These are just the highlights of why we should all be supporting our small businesses, not just on December 1 for Small Business Saturday, but every single day.

By supporting them we have the benefit of convenience – they are located right on our doorstep – and we can help ensure their future, secure jobs, bolster the local economy as well as maintaining our town or village’s unique character and charm.

As part of its drive to promote small businesses in Spalding and South Holland, Plan B Marketing has launched the Recommend a Business South Holland Facebook group, encouraging everyone to post about those businesses in the area they use who offer great value and service to their customers.  You can help support small businesses by joining today and posting your recommendations.

As always, I would love to hear about what makes your small business special and help you spread the word. Contact me to find out more about the easy and affordable marketing services I offer to champion small local businesses.