28/11/2013 07:23 GMT | Updated 27/01/2014 05:59 GMT

Small Business Saturday UK - Celebrating the Backbone of Our Economy

Small Business Saturday UK

Small Business Saturday UK - Celebrating the Backbone of Our Economy

Small Business Saturday UK (7th December 2013), born in the USA as a way to get more consumers to shop within their own communities, has now migrated to this side of The Pond, and with very good reason.

Supported by government and large companies like American Express, just as in the States, this grassroots campaign is intended to inject new energy not just into Britain's smaller High Streets, markets and shopping centres, deprived of life and trade by out-of-town supermarkets and online purchasing, but a whole range of independent contractors, consultants and freelancers right on the doorstep.

In America, Small Business Saturday has been hailed a success, generating $5.5 billion and seeing even President Obama spending the day in local shops and encouraging others to do the same wherever they live.

Here in Britain, small businesses are the backbone of our economy, with 4.8 million of them employing 14 million staff. However, for those who run them, the long hours, cashflow worries and high business rates mean life is far from easy.

Small Business Saturday is a great way to acknowledge all that hard work and to recognise the benefits that small businesses bring to a community, not just by providing a convenient service but also by keeping money in the local economy.

So make sure you take the time to celebrate what they have to offer and show your appreciation on Saturday 7th December by using at least one more small business in your area than you otherwise would ... and then keep it going.

Small Business Saturday is just one day in the year, but you can 'shop local' any day of the year. And don't think that you won't find what you're looking for.

Buying out of town may seem to offer more choice, but will almost certainly be more expensive, with no guarantee of better quality in return, especially now that technology means there are likely to be high-level small businesses and recognised experts - nationally and internationally -just around the corner from you, that you just don't know about.

We think that small businesses are so important to the local community that, in partnership with the o2 Workshop on Tottenham Court Road, The Corporate Escape™ will be hosting two free talks on Small Business Saturday UK (7th December) on setting up a small business:

"Your Route to Success: How to Escape Corporate Life and Start a Business in Just 1 Hour"


"Grow Your Business to the Next Level: From Start-Up to Stand-Out in Just 1 Hour".

If you've been thinking about leaving employment to become an independent contractor, a freelancer, an 'iPro' or to start a business, these talks will give you clarity about what to do next, and the inspiration to take that first step, or to grow your business faster, if you've already started.

Register for either of these free talks Here

As a small coaching and consulting business that specialises in helping professionals aged 40+ to escape unfulfilling employment and overcome redundancy to set up on their own, we passionately believe that the future of work lies in self employment and business ownership. We also understand how important it is to have the right support to do this. So these talks are our way of giving something back to the small businesses that give so much to our communities and which strengthen our economy every day.

You can do the same by making sure that you don't 'shop away' on 7th December, or any other day, but 'keep it local' instead, and you and your community will both reap the benefits long-term.

By Maite Barón, 'The Corporate Escape Coach™', author of 'Corporate Escape: The Rise of the New Entrepreneur'. Download two free chapters of the book and other guides and reports at