Retailers have responded positively following this year’s Small Business Saturday initiative, however others have expressed concern that the day has drifted from its original purpose.

The annual event, which is sponsored by American Express, was held last weekend, and brings retailers together to promote small independent businesses.

Trudy Davies, owner of Woosnam & Davies in Llanidloes, Powys, has participated in the event for a several years. 

“It’s a great way to make an impact on people, to remind them we’re a small family business with names and faces,” she said. 

This year Trudy downloaded posters and PoS material from the Small Business Saturday event’s website. She also made up goody bags to hand out to customers.

“We invite other local businesses – the barbers, the bakery, the pub, even the plumbers and electrician – to put something in the goody bag,” she said. “It highlights the fact we are all local, all connected, and all rely on each other.”

Other retailers, however, have expressed concern the event is losing relevance.

“In principle it’s a great way to raise awareness, and for the first couple of years it worked well,” said Matt Clark, owner of Penylan Stores in Cardiff.

“But the last time I attended an event launch there were these massive companies there – selling land, or with multi-million pound housing portfolios. It’s become more commercialised and lost its relevance to truly small businesses like mine.”

Kay Patel, owner of Best-one stores in East London, said: “I know it’s led by American Express and we do accept their cards, but we don’t shout about it because they take such a hefty commission. Perhaps if they cut their commission for the day we’d be interested in getting involved.”