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Success for first Small Business Saturday

Local retailers celebrated the UK's first Small Business Saturday as shoppers descended on high streets for the first weekend of the festive season.

An initiative pioneered in the US and promoted in the UK by the shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, small businesses offered flash sales and one-off discounts to demonstrate the benefits of shopping locally.

Small Business Saturday aims to highlight the importance of local outlets, which account for almost two thirds of private sector employment.

The Government marked the occasion by announcing a host of new measures designed to support small businesses. These include:

  • a pledge to spend £100m on broadband connections
  • grants worth £3,000 made available to small businesses in ten UK cities for installing high-speed broadband 
  • easier switching of energy suppliers for small businesses
  • further measures to tackle late payments.

John Cridland, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry said:

"Small and medium-sized businesses are at the heart of communities across the UK and are the job-creating dynamos of the recovery.

"Small Business Saturday is a great way for people up and down the country to back their local high street in the run-up to Christmas and I would encourage everyone to get involved."