Brits are being called upon to offer vital support to small businesses as high streets reopen in time for Christmas.

The annual Small Business Saturday campaign - which takes place on 5 December and encourages people to support small firms and 'shop local' –  is well timed, coming just three days after the English national lockdown lifts.

It also hopes to tap into soaring public affection for small businesses, as research from the campaign and its principle supporter American Express shows 59 per cent of Brits support small businesses more than previously, following the major role firms played in communities during coronavirus lockdowns.

“Small Business Saturday is not just one event, but millions of actions, taken by all of us, that add up to one big impact to boost small businesses at this difficult time,” said Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK. 

“More than ever, it is a key moment to shine a spotlight on small businesses and the important contribution they make to our nation.

“This year, we are encouraging people to show their support not just on Small Business Saturday itself but in the coming weeks, months and beyond, in all the different ways they can safely, whether it is in Covid-secure shops, online, or through takeaways and click and collect."

In its eighth year Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, with last year's event seeing an estimated £800m spent with small businesses across the UK.

“Now more than ever it is vital that people get behind their local businesses, whether by popping in to get Christmas presents, ordering essentials online, or getting a takeaway from their favourite cafe or restaurant," said Small Business minister Paul Scully.

“Small businesses are the beating heart of our local communities, and this year we want Small Business Saturday to give them the boost they need to carry them into the New Year, as we look to build back better from Coronavirus.”