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The 2014 Small Business Saturday event made £36 million more than the previous year’s sales, with a total of £504 million being secured by independent shops across the UK.

According to research conducted by American Express, 16.5 million people decided to shop at local stores on 6th December 2014, supporting their communities. The campaign was originally started in the US by American Express five years ago, and was introduced to the UK last year. The research indicated that the average spend of each person was £30.56, with one third of shoppers saying they had spent up to 25 per cent more than they would have done on a typical Saturday.

The campaign has achieved what it set out to do, with even more support for small businesses than last year and increased support from local authorities. Free parking was provided in 60 cities and towns across the UK on that day, helping to attract shoppers. The number of local councils involved jumped by 15 per cent this year, with 55 per cent behind the campaign.

The national campaign director for Small Business Saturday, Michelle Ovens, said she believes that public awareness is now more widespread, adding that the efforts seem to have “tapped into a trend”.

Those who wanted to become involved in this year’s event could download information to help maximise opportunities on the day.

SME accountants can help by advising on the most beneficial business structures before the big day. The type of enterprise will often depend on annual profits, and whether you are operating on your own or with a partner.

Sole trading

As a sole trader, you are completely in control of your company and will make all the decisions. It is relatively quick and simple to start a business as a sole trader, with very little administration. The costs of setting up as a sole trader are minimal, and you will be able to provide simplified accounts for HMRC at the tax year end. All the profits are yours, and business expenses are deducted from the gross profits, reducing the tax you pay.

Limited company

As a limited company, you will usually pay less tax, especially if income exceeds the higher rate tax bracket. You will have limited liability and personal assets will be protected, as the company is a separate entity.

Did you get involved in this year’s Small Business Saturday? If so, what was your experience? Let us know by leaving your comments below.

About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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