Small Business Saturday, the nationwide campaign to support, inspire and promote the UK’s 5.5 million small businesses, is once again launching its iconic national bus tour, as the campaign marks its fifth anniversary.
The bus will visit 29 different towns and cities around the UK, offering local businesses a brand new Small Business Saturday mentoring programme.
The mentoring will see experienced businesspeople supporting local businesses one-to-one, and will allow them to connect and share advice directly with their peers. Small businesses will be able to sign up on the campaign website from the beginning of October.
Also debuting this year is the Small Business Saturday Blue Sofa, where interviews and exclusive Q&A sessions with small businesses, mentors and leading local figures will be live-streamed via Facebook Live.
Beginning in Dundee on 23 October, the bus tour will travel up and down the country, from Lisburn to Lowestoft, Reading to Rochdale, before finishing in Brighton on 24 November. The tour will also provide activities that the public can get involved with to promote local support for the campaign. A full list of locations is in the Notes to Editors section.
Michelle Ovens MBE, Director, Small Business Saturday, said:“We have run the phenomenally popular Small Business Saturday bus tour since the campaign launched in the UK in 2013. Now it has grown to five weeks, we can reach a huge number of the UK’s small businesses to deliver mentoring, inspiration and much needed optimism to small businesses across the nation.”
“Small Business Saturday and the bus tour are open to everyone. Businesses on the high street or online, trading with other businesses or selling direct to consumers. It is open to every individual who can take this moment to support their local businesses, and it is open to public sector to both support and reflect on the huge value small businesses generate.”
Last year saw £717 million spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday, up 15 per cent on the previous year according to research by founder and principal supporter of Small Business Saturday, American Express. The campaign trended at number one in the UK on Twitter on the day with more than 130,000 campaign-related tweets being sent, reaching over 140 million people globally.
Small Business Saturday is widely supported by government, big business and over 80 per cent of the country’s local authorities. This year, Small Business Saturday has launched a mobile app that features a map of small businesses across the UK, to help people find and their local small business communities.