Gifts Today magazine

Look out for Small Business Saturday this weekend

This Saturday marks this year’s Small Business Saturday, which as the name suggests exists to support, inspire and promote small businesses.

The event is a grassroots, non-political, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

This year the celebrated artist Sir Peter Blake has created a stunning piece of artwork (right) to commemorate the event.Sir Peter Blake’s new work, called High Street Heroes, has been commissioned by American Express, founder of Small Business Saturday in the U.S. and an active supporter of the grassroots campaign in the UK, to shine the spotlight on the nation’s small businesses. It features 61 shopkeepers holding the tools of their trades from 40 different small businesses from across the country, including a butcher in Newcastle, a baker in Brighton and a cheese maker in Edinburgh.

Sir Peter Blake said: ‘Small shops and the Great British Shopkeeper have been at the forefront of British culture for hundreds of years now. The notion of a Nation of Shopkeepers is embedded in our folklore and the wonderful variety of today’s independent shops as well as the character that small businesses bring to a local area make them an ideal subject matter for modern pop art. Having worked at a local butcher at the age of 13 I have also experienced the dedication and hard work that goes into running a small shop. It is for all these reasons that I am thrilled to be lending my support to a campaign that champions small businesses.’

Rafa Marquez, UK Managing Director, American Express said: ‘We have a long history of working with small businesses and we wanted to celebrate the contribution they make to the UK economy and their communities. We are therefore delighted to have collaborated with Sir Peter Blake to showcase
a range of businesses from across the country that add originality and variety to our local high streets. We hope that this artwork will inspire even more people to go out and shop small this Small Business Saturday.’

Last year’s Small Business Saturday had more than 1.5 million Facebook views and #SmallBizSatUK was in top three trends all day. Forty per cent of all local authorities supported the campaign and more than £460 million was spent in small businesses on the day.

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