Recognising the essential role small businesses continue to play in the UK's local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic, British people plan to spend £6.2b 'shopping small' this December, according to research commissioned by American Express, principal supporter of Small Business Saturday UK.

Seven in 10 say they will visit local shops and businesses this month (70%), from butchers and greengrocers to hairdressers, florists and cafes, with an average spend of £169.

The survey found that nearly half of those shopping with small businesses will do so because they want to support local jobs (47%). A further three in 10 say it is because these businesses have worked really hard this year and they want to see them succeed (31%).

Navigating lockdowns and social distancing measures, among other challenges, small businesses have had to dig deep this year. Just over three quarters (78%) of UK adults say they admire how local businesses have navigated Covid-19, and want to continue supporting local businesses for the long term (78%). Over four in five (83%) consider local shopworkers to be frontline – an essential part of the community – and seven in 10 say they appreciate local businesses more now than ever before (71%).

Four in 10 say the amount of their budget spent at local businesses has increased since March 2020. Of these, almost four in five (78%) intend to either maintain this spend or increase it in 2021.

Dan Edelman, general manager UK, Global Merchant and Network Services, American Express, says: “2020 has been hard for everyone, but the resilience and creativity of small businesses in the face of the most trying of circumstances continues to be nothing short of incredible.

"It’s great to see that Brits recognise the important contribution local small businesses make and want to show their support, rewarding them with a much-needed boost to spending before the end of the year. As principal supporter of Small Business Saturday (5th December), we hope that people will continue to show their support for their local independents by shopping small, not just this December but all year round.”