Small enterprises contributed £1.9 trillion to the economy this year
Small enterprises contributed £1.9 trillion to the economy this year

Number of UK small firms at record high as data reveals trillion-pound contribution

A record number of small firms are currently operating in the UK, according to data revealed ahead of Small Business Saturday this weekend.

New government figures show that small enterprises contributed £1.9 trillion to the economy this year.

The statistics, from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, found that the UK is now home to a record 5.7 million smaller businesses.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is celebrating the figures by urging people to go out this weekend and support local companies on Small Business Saturday (December 2), which is now in its fifth year.

According to FSB research, for every £1 spent with a small- or medium-size business, 63p is re-spent locally. In comparison, 40p of every £1 spent with a chain or larger company goes back into the local area.

Consumers spent £717m with small UK firms on Small Business Saturday in 2016, up 15% against the year previous.

FSB national chairman Mike Cherry said: “It’s the fifth year of Small Business Saturday, and it’s great the campaign has been so successful in highlighting and promoting the now record number of 5.7m small businesses working hard across the UK.

“Many of them are facing mounting pressure, with a record proportion of business owners currently expecting to downsize, sell or shut up shop.”

He continued: “Of course, it’s important to support these businesses throughout the year and, particularly as the festive season draws closer, Small Business Saturday is a great way to encourage shoppers to back their local small firms.”

Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday, commented: “Small Business Saturday has become the biggest celebration of small businesses across the UK.

“This Saturday will be a huge opportunity for communities to show their support for these businesses that play such a critical role.”

She added: “Our research shows over 90% of small businesses believe they have an important role to play in their community - so let’s make sure we have their backs this weekend.”

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