Small Businesses – the Backbone of the UK Economy

small business saturday placardThe majority of Chiltern Chamber’s members are small to medium-sized businesses, of the type that form the backbone of the UK economy.

According to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills:

  • Small firms account for 99.3 per cent of all private sector businesses in the UK, 48 per cent of private sector employment and 33 per cent of private sector turnover.
  • Small and medium sized businesses employ 15.6 million people and have a combined turnover of £1.75 trillion.
  • Of all businesses, 62 per cent (3.3 million out of a total 5.4 million) are sole proprietorships.

Chiltern Chamber and SME’s

Chiltern Chamber seeks to support small and medium-sized businesses in a number of ways.

  • Our frequent networking meetings provide the opportunity to network with our growing membership, and non-members too.
  • We organise a programme of events, including educational sessions on topical and business-related sessions.
  • We work to promote a conducive business environment, through our two other strategic initiatives, local economic development, and encouragement of skills and training initiatives.
  • Through our support of Small Business Saturday, promoting awareness of the importance of the small business sector.

Small Business Saturday 2015

It is fitting therefore that small businesses should enjoy the spotlight at least once a year. Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success, encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities, and seeks to inspire and encourage new businesses.

Originally a US initiative, conceived and promoted by American Express, Small Business Saturday is held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It was first held in 2010, and the inaugural UK event was in 2013.

Small Business Saturday 2015 – on Saturday December 5th – made more of a splash than ever before.

  • The official Small Business Saturday team reported spend up 24% from 2014.
  • Small Business Saturday was trending at number one on Twitter on the day – with 100,000 tweets sent in support of the campaign and reaching a total of 25m people.
  • 75% of local authorities gave support for Small Business Saturday – from free parking to special fairs for the day.
  • New in 2015 on the Small Business Saturday web site was the Small Business Finder, designed to allow consumers to locate participating small business before, during and after Small Business Saturday. You can very easily register your business on this tool.
  • By a happy coincidence, Saturday December 5th was also the date of the Amersham Christmas Showcase. The Chamber’s stall was themed around Small Business Saturday (as was our stall at Christmas in Chesham eight days earlier).

    We also did our share of tweeting, to help spread the word.

    Perhaps most impressive was 11-year-old Lowen, who set up his stall along from the Chamber’s, selling bee hotels which he had made in the hope of raising enough for an X-Box. An entrepreneur in the making!

    You can read more about Small Business Saturday on, or on its Facebook page