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Small Business Saturday comes to the UK on 7 December

On 7 December, the UK will celebrate its first ever 'Small Business Saturday'. Falling on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, the campaign seeks to get people behind small businesses and local shops on that Saturday and afterwards.

Small businesses in the UK provide almost two-thirds of private sector employment and almost half of private sector turnover, but commentators say more needs to be done to encourage people to shop locally at small independent businesses.

The event hopes to replicate the success of the original initiative, which was launched in the US in 2010 with the support of President Obama and top celebrities.

Last year Small Business Saturday there helped drive sales of US$5.5 billion (£3.4 billion) in small independent shops and led to an increase in longer-term custom. According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses in America, Small Business Saturday has become the most important shopping day of the year for a third of their members.

In the UK, the campaign is being supported by leading politicians of the three main parties, business leaders, business federations and associations, as well as local authorities in London, Manchester and Birmingham. American Express who came up the concept in the US is also supporting it in the UK at no cost.

Acas provides Help for small firms where it can, such as through its seven step-by-step guides. The advice will tell you what you need to know to stay on the right side of the law, and how to get the best from your staff. Areas covered include recruiting, settling in and drawing up contracts for new employees, managing discipline, grievance and absence, and handling small-scale redundancies.

Person-to-person advice is also available for free through the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100.

Another option is Acas training tailor-made for small firms, such as Recruitment, People management, Performance management and Employing People - A Practical Introduction.

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions page for more information.

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