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Heartwarming Small Business Stories That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity

Today is Small Business Saturday – a day designed to encourage people to shop and support small businesses. 

We want to celebrate by sharing stories from everyday people whose lives have been positively impacted by a small business in some way. From the small moments that have made a big difference in someone’s life to everyday encounters with a small business that are imprinted on our memories.

Because it’s not just the products and services you offer that make a difference. It’s that something extra that large corporations rarely retain when they become big businesses. 

It’s the human touch. The going-the-extra-mile. The caring about each and every one of your customers.

That’s priceless. 

And because sometimes we forget that in the busyness of business, we wanted to remind you just what a great job you’re doing, and what an impact you’re really having.




Let me start by sharing the story about my engagement ring…

After proposing, my husband wanted me to choose my engagement ring but after browsing dozens of jewellers I realised my small fingers weren’t compatible with the style of rings I loved.

That is until my best friend recommended a local family run jewellers who take commissions.

After meeting with the owner and sharing styles I liked, he designed the perfect ring – a vintage halo-style that fits my size H finger.

From the very first meeting, to the 3D printed mockup I got to try on, to choosing the perfect diamond to finally placing the ring on my finger, I felt like a VIP.

And, after thinking I’d have to settle for something that wasn’t really ‘me’ I ended up with a ring that suits me and is the perfect reminder of the commitment my husband and I have made to each other. 

Jen from Sussex



The record shop fuelling musical discovery

As anyone who’s grown up in the countryside will testify, getting around by public transport can be a nightmare.

In my teenage years, I’d often find myself drifting aimlessly around Wrexham town centre, killing time, waiting for one of the ‘hourly’ buses to get home.

My saving grace was Phase One Records.

Phase One was a small independent record store that not only took plenty of my pocket money, including the ‘extremely cool’ purchase of Paul Oakenfold’s Big Brother theme, but helped transform those wasted hours into a time of (often-dubious but always joyful) musical discovery. 

Huw from Wrexham



The pub serving more than just pints

When I moved into my flat in Dalston, North London, I hadn’t given a second thought to the fact that it was a Bank Holiday Monday, and none of the local shops were open.

So, off I went, oblivious to this in the hunt for milk, bread, chocolate…you know, the basics to get you started in your new home.

After half an hour of wandering the streets of Dalston and seeing the shutters down on every shop I passed, I gave up and headed home empty-handed.

On my way back, I thought I’d drown my sorrows with a glass of Malbec in my new local pub, The Railway Tavern.

So, I ordered my drink and got chatting to the friendly barman, and told him that I’d just moved in across the road, and about my failed expedition to find milk. We carried on chatting about the local area, about the pub and how long he’d lived and worked there.

He then disappeared for a few minutes and returned with a carton of milk for me.

Of course, I offered to pay him but he wasn’t having any of it. I was taken aback by this very kind gesture and was very grateful to him for helping me in my hour of need.

Now every time I walk past The Railway Tavern and I see him I stop and have a chat.

That’s the beauty of small businesses.

Sarah from Surrey



The local newsagent providing sanctuary

I think just a small act of kindness from a business can have a big impact.

When I was growing up I was being picked on by some of the older kids and the local paper shop lady let me sit behind the shop desk and wait for them to go away.

She’d let me pick out some penny sweets and read magazines and gave me a safe haven. She never asked me about them, it was like an unspoken agreement.

As I grew up, she gave me my first job doing a paper round which helped me build my confidence.

I don’t know if I ever really thanked her but she made a tough time much more bearable and gave me somewhere safe to go when I was scared.

Katherine from Bristol



The local plumber averting disaster

After moving into our new house we made a point of using local tradespeople to help do it up and thank goodness we did!

When we returned from a 3 week holiday in Australia to find our boiler had stopped working we rang our local plumber who not only fixed the problem within 24 hours but lent us a couple of heaters to keep me and my 6 month old warm as well.

I’m not sure you’d get that from one of the big companies and it’s nice to be supporting a local family run business!

Sally from Edinburgh



The go-to family photographer

Whilst in the process of organising my wedding, I was also in the middle of moving from Norwich to Chelmsford.

With our wedding taking place in Chelmsford, a city I really didn’t know and had no contacts in, I was reliant on social media to help me find a wedding photographer. 

After making a number of enquiries I was put in touch with Anita of AD-Photographic, an independent photographer. We gelled instantly and she completely understood the sort of casual, relaxed photographs we wanted to get for our special day.

We loved the photo’s so much that Anita has since taken many other special occasion photos for us as a family, helping us to capture those many happy moments forever. 

Helen from Norwich

The term ‘small business’ doesn’t do it justice. Dedicating every fibre of your being to making something you created on your own a success? There’s nothing small about that. 


The fitness group empowering women

My pole fitness group has had a huge impact on me. It gave me a lot of confidence and empowerment at a point where I really didn’t have any. It has such a great sense of community and women being supportive of each other.

The owner has gone from just one member and renting out the local village hall to over 150 members and her own studio.

I’m so glad she started the club… it’s been one of the best things I’ve done for myself in years and I don’t know what we’d all do without it.

Katie from Surrey



The local store supporting local producers

Our village has always been a bit sleepy with nothing going on and everyone having to travel to the next town to do or get anything. So, a group of local residents set up a small community run village store and cafe. It not only employs local people and supports local producers, but has created a real hub in the village.

By employing local people, I’ve gotten to know more of my neighbours and have been moved by their stories. One older woman had retired but was quite lonely and isolated. She now has a group of friends and interacts with people every day; all from doing a couple of hours behind the cash desk at the store, a few days a week.

It fills my heart with pride shopping there and knowing it’s a business doing more than what you see on the surface.

Oli from Hampshire



The mum-run businesses making hand-crafted bespoke gifts

Since having my son I’ve found that finding boys clothes that I like to be something of a challenge.

Cue several work at home mums’ businesses.

The first came to my aid for my son’s first birthday, not only clothing him but also creating a beautiful monogrammed quilted picnic blanket, made to my specification, as his gift from me. It was Very Hungry Caterpillar themed to go along with his birthday theme of course!

I also managed to source from Etsy someone to make Very Hungry Caterpillar party bags for the children to take home. I love nothing more than following a theme all the way through and supporting WAHM businesses.

Victoria from Kent 



The environmentally friendly taxi company 

During the height of the recession, my best friend decided to start his own business with his uncle, a builder by trade, who was made redundant as a consequence of the credit crunch.

Staying with his girlfriend in my tiny spare bedroom, it was hard to see how their two-car Go Green Taxi service was ever going to take off.

Almost ten years later, their multi-award-winning fleet of economically friendly hybrid cars can be spotted all over Oxfordshire and Berkshire and their customer, community and environmentally friendly approach to business has revitalised the once stale taxi experience in our county.

Now when people go anywhere in my town they ‘go green’ because we have a home-grown local and reliable business that everybody knows and loves to take care of us. As well as running a great service, they promote and campaign for green spaces in local towns, attend local events and plant trees.

Something every local can get behind.

Paul from Oxfordshire



Every small business makes a difference

I recently moved to Peckham, South East London and one of the elements I appreciate the most is the range of small and interesting businesses. Rooftop bars, hairdressers offering haircuts in front of art and restaurants covering almost every world cuisine are what makes this a rich and vibrant community.

Small businesses make a place unique. And this is why I love them.

Nicky from Sheffield


As you’ll see from these stories, sometimes it’s just the human kindness that a small business can offer that makes a difference, or that you’re there when your customers really need you. This is what makes small businesses great, and should be celebrated today!

Do you have a small business story? Share it with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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