More than £1 billion was spent with the UK’s small businesses this Saturday, as shoppers had their first weekend of bargain hunting since before the second lockdown.
Data from American Express showed that 15.4 million people hit the streets to shop small on Small Business Saturday, which is designed to encourage shoppers to support independent retailers.
Between them the shoppers spent around £1.1 billion on the day, the data shows.
It is the biggest Small Business Saturday ever since the campaign started eight years ago, and breached the £1 billion mark for the first time.
However, the data also shows that 2.2 million fewer people shopped during the day.
But low footfall was made up for by higher spend per trip. The average per person spend rose to £70.74, from £45.42 last year.
Around 48% of shoppers said they deliberately chase to spend with smaller businesses because they wanted to support them after a tough year.
Michelle Ovens MBE, director of Small Business Saturday, said: “It is fantastic to see such phenomenal, record-breaking support for small businesses, in one of the toughest years many have ever experienced. Small Business Saturday has been running for eight years, but this year’s campaign has been our most vital.
“We are delighted that it’s generated such a massive boost for small businesses, at a time they are facing huge challenges with the ongoing effects of the pandemic.
“I have no doubt that this strong support for small businesses has been driven by recognition of the critical role they played in our communities during lockdown.
“So many firms worked hard to pivot and adapt their businesses during this national emergency, often stepping in to offer useful services, vital products, as well as being a source of practical support and kindness, particularly for the NHS and frontline workers.”
Charlotte Duerden, UK managing director at American Express, said: “Small businesses play such a vital role in their local communities and need our support more than ever.
“So, it’s truly good news that we’ve seen the biggest ever boost to spending with local independents this Small Business Saturday.
“What’s even more encouraging is that this commitment to shopping small looks set to continue, not just this month, but for the longer term.”