Labour calls for US-style 'small business Saturday'

President Barack Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia at a book shop on America's Small Business Saturday President Barack Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia at a book shop on America's Small Business Saturday

Related Stories

The UK should emulate the US idea of having a day dedicated to encouraging people to shop at small, local shops, Labour's Chuka Umunna has said.

The shadow business secretary has asked American Express - which sponsors the US initiative - to see if they could bring the idea to the UK this year.

He has suggested 7 December as the first "Small Business Saturday".

The Department for Communities and Local Government said it was an idea which would be considered.

In the US the idea of a day to promote local traders began in 2010 and traditionally follows Thanksgiving.

President Barack Obama and his daughters visited an independent book shop on Small Business Saturday.

US figures suggest US consumers aware of the promotion, which is heavily plugged in social media and enjoys celebrity support, spent £3.4bn in small shops on the day this year.

In the UK a similar idea, on a smaller scale, has seen a day dedicated to encouraging people to use their local record store.

Mr Umunna said: "We must do more to celebrate the contribution local, small independent businesses make to our economy and encourage people to buy from them.

"Establishing a Small Business Saturday in the UK, a concept which has enjoyed considerable success in the US, would provide a small but simple and effective way to celebrate local small businesses and encourage more people to buy from them on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

"A Small Business Saturday in the UK is something all local authorities, whatever their political persuasion, could support and promote."

The Department for Communities and Local Government said it would consider the idea, but stressed the action already being taken to support independent traders in England.

Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk said: "We're determined to offer practical support to our High Streets, which is why we've doubled the amount of small business rate relief to new and smaller shops.

"This is one part of a multimillion-pound package of support to Town Teams and Portas Pilots up and down the country, including mentoring from retail experts and workshops to address the challenges they face.

"And for budding entrepreneurs, we're providing over £80m of start-up loans for young people starting their own businesses."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More UK Politics stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa


  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health


  • The OfficeIn pictures

    Fifty landmark shows from 50 years of BBC Two


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • Tuna and avacadoThe Travel Show Watch

    Is Tokyo set to become the world's gourmet capital?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.