As Christmas looms ever closer and the shopping frenzy heads towards its peak, more and more people are avoiding the queues by ordering their gifts online. British consumers were expected to spend more than £50 billion on internet shopping in 2015 and when festive fever breaks out, it’s easy to see why.
(You will be submitting yourself to the nail-biting ordeal of wondering if the postman will deliver on time, of course, but many consider that a small price to pay to avoid the car park rage and checkout wars that can ensue at this time of year.)
With even High Street giants such as John Lewis and M&S doing strong business via their websites, small businesses can struggle to compete. So they will undoubtedly welcome today’s Small Business Saturday initiative, which encourages consumers to forget the big names and take their trade to companies with 50 employees or less.
Few would argue that this is a bad thing - anything that helps to support independent traders and keep the High Street alive can only be positive. But some small businesses might have mixed feelings about the government pushing their cause with such fanfare on one day a year, when many feel that more could be done to assist them all year round. No doubt the campaign, now in its third year, will generate some debate as to whether one day of publicity is enough, and how the government and local authorities could make 2016 brighter and better for small companies.
What is your view on the challenges facing small businesses? We’d love to hear your opinions.