Small businesses helped the high street achieve a record year with total sales predicted to reach £342bn in 2014, according to Government figures.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said smaller firms have contributed turnover of £72bn in the past year to help the high street celebrate a bumper year for sales.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said: “The rise of independent retailers is testament to the wave of entrepreneurialism sweeping the UK as part of our strong economic recovery.”

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also reportedly to have contributed to the jump in sales with November pre-Christmas trading increasing by 5.2% on last year.

James Lowman, chief executive of ACS, said: “It hasn’t been an easy year for retailers, but a quarter of owners are investing heavily in their stores, or on expansion, so there is a positive story to tell.”

Five retail stars of 2014

Neil Gurney, Postfolk,  Norfolk

Neil Gurney Post office, Norfolk 2014

His post office became known as the happiest in Norfolk by thinking outside of the box and creating a viral video for social media to boost business.

Susan Connolly, Spar, Wiltshire

Susan Connolly, Spar, Wiltshire 2014

The business development manager for four Spar stores encouraged others to exploit Small Business Saturday in 2015 after benefiting from a 4% footfall increase and 6% sales when taking part in 2014.

Ramesh Shingadia, Londis, Sussex

Ramesh Shingadia, Londis, Sussex 2014

Scooped four Independent Achievers Academy awards including overall best shop in November 2014.

Bruce & Emma Warden, The Stores, Kent

Bruce & Emma Warden, The Stores, Kent 2014

Their Nisa refit in November 2014 boosted sales 22% year on year, sparking a bright future for the store in 2015.

Raj Patel, Nisa Local, Pocklington

Raj Patel, Nisa Local, Pocklington 2014

Think big is this retailer’s method – his Nisa flagship store opened this year and includes a Subway, Costa Coffee, Fresh Bake bakery and car valeting.