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Brits plan to show appreciation for local shopkeepers with £6.2 billion December spend

Published: 7 December 2020 - Neil Mead

Recognising the essential role small businesses continue to play in our local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic, Brits plan to spend £6.2 billion shopping small this December, according to a new survey. Seven in ten Brits say they will visit local shops and businesses this month (70%), from butchers and greengrocers to hairdressers, florists and cafes, with an average spend of £169.

Bardan Pradhan, Village Green Grocers, Charlton, London (Credit: David Parry)
Bardan Pradhan, Village Green Grocers, Charlton, London (Credit: David Parry)

This research, commissioned by American Express, principal supporter of Small Business Saturday UK, found nearly half of those shopping with small businesses will do so because they want to support local jobs (47%). A further three in ten say it’s because these businesses have worked really hard this year and they want to see them succeed (31%).

Navigating lockdowns and social distancing measures, among other challenges, small businesses have had to dig deep on their resilience and agility this year. Just over three quarters (78%) of UK adults say they admire how local businesses have navigated Covid-19 and want to continue supporting local businesses for the long term (78%). Over four in five consider local shop workers to be frontline; an essential part of the community (83%) and seven in ten say they appreciate local businesses more now than ever before (71%).

Non-essential businesses have been sorely missed during lockdown. People are most excited to see hairdressers (34%), restaurants (34%) and cafés (31%) reopen their doors as lockdown restrictions lift.

Janet Edwards, Janet Edwards Florist, Brixton Hill, London (Credit: David Parry/PA Wire)
Janet Edwards, Janet Edwards Florist, Brixton Hill, London (Credit: David Parry/PA Wire)

Across the UK, people are backing small businesses by spending more with them. Four in ten say the amount of their budget spent at local businesses has increased since March 2020 (40%). Of these, almost four in five intend to either maintain this spend or increase it in 2021 (78%).

Dan Edelman, General Manager UK, Global Merchant and Network Services, American Express said: “2020 has been hard for everyone but the resilience and creativity of small businesses in the face of the most trying of circumstances continues to be nothing short of incredible.  It’s great to see that Brits recognise the important contribution local small businesses make and want to show their support, rewarding them with a much-needed boost to spending before the end of the year. As principal supporter of Small Business Saturday (5 December), we hope that people will continue to show their support for their local independents by shopping small, not just this December but all year round.”

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