It’s no secret that small businesses across the UK struggled in 2019, with companies relying heavily on the Christmas trading period to stay afloat.

Newsfeed PR were challenged to raise awareness of the extent to which small businesses depend on these festive period sales and educate the everyday consumer that they can support small businesses by shopping with Not On The High Street.

We set out to change the narrative for shoppers, developing a hard news angle designed to expose misconceptions around the level of support that small businesses actually get.

We commissioned new research amongst small business owners to demonstrate that nearly a quarter of them think their business ‘will close’ if they have a below average Christmas trading period.

As well as investigating the business perspective we also conducted research amongst consumers to compare the number of people who believe they show support to small businesses with the numbers that have recently given them custom. This revealed that despite 85% of shoppers believing that they actively support small businesses, just a third have actually shopped with one in the past six months.

To provide consumers with a clear framing statistic, we were able to show that just 26p in every £1 will be spent with small businesses during Christmas 2019, with the lion’s share going to large companies.

Through a mixture of dedicated interviews and interview syndication, we secured 160 pieces of broadcast coverage – featuring a brand spokesperson – with a reach of over 42m. This included national stations such as LBC and TalkRADIO as well as a hero piece of national TV coverage on the BBC News Channel.

A wide range of print and online coverage was also secured, including Sunday Express, Daily Express, The i, Independent and Daily Star. Additional hits included Yahoo, The National, and a range of key regional titles including Wester Mail and Evening Express.