This weekend marks the third annual Small Business Saturday (05 December) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is helping to make it the best one yet. Experts in business, FSB is calling for people to throw their backing behind the independent Small Business Saturday campaign by supporting their local businesses – both on and off the high street. FSB research shows that spending with local businesses gives an extra boost to local economies compared to spending with their larger counterparts. For every £1 spent by a local authority with a small or medium-sized business, 63p is then spent elsewhere in the local area, backing jobs and growth - compared to just 40p in every £1 spent with a larger business. This emphasises the enormous benefit of keeping trade local, and hopefully encourages more people to start looking at ways of supporting the diverse and innovative small businesses in their community. John Allan, National Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Last year 16.5 million people turned out to support a local small business on Small Business Saturday, generating an impressive £504 million for small firms in just one day. This year, we are again encouraging everyone to back small firms throughout the economy, not just in retail, to make the day bigger and better than ever. With 5.4 million small businesses in the UK, there has never been a better time to celebrate their contribution to their communities. “Small Business Saturday has gone from strength to strength and we are excited to support it for the third year running at every level of the FSB – nationally, regionally and locally. We are particularly proud that such a high proportion of those selected for this year’s Small Biz 100 campaign are FSB members.” In advance of this year’s Small Business Saturday, FSB has been more involved than ever. Local branches and regions have been working with MPs and councils from all parties, to host events, celebrate the Small Business Saturday Bus Tour, visit leading small businesses in our membership and secure free parking on or near our high streets. To reflect the diverse and unique character of the UK’s small business community, the FSB has aspired to make its celebration of Small Business Saturday just as eclectic. Here are just some of the events the FSB is involved with across the country: In Trafford, we’re hosting a Christmas market with Young Enterprise, the FSB’s National Chairman’s charity. In Burton upon Trent we’re running a ‘flash conga’ for small businesses. In Merseyside we’re running a ‘local at Christmas’ campaign. In London and South Yorkshire, we’ve organised a ‘selfie challenge’ with customers and councillors. In Stockport we are sponsoring a ‘best shop’ competition for independent retailers run by the local MP, Mary Robinson. In Downpatrick, we’re hosting a tour of the town with local business people and MPs. In Scotland we’re helping more than 20 MPs and MSPs visit local firms from Lerwick to Largs. In Carmarthen we’ve organised a trade show at the town’s library to showcase some of the products and services provided by small businesses in the county with Carmarthenshire council. FSB supports small businesses all year round with its ‘Keep Trade Local’ campaign, asking decision makers to consider the small businesses at the heart of the community in their procurement, planning and economic development – both in urban and rural areas.