The independent grocery sector is throwing its weight behind Small Business Saturday.

The event, which takes place on 6 December, aims to highlight the success of small businesses and encourages consumers to support them by shopping locally. It is the second-year of the campaign, after being launched in the UK in 2013.

The Association of Convenience Stores said it was “delighted” to support the campaign.

“We will be encouraging local shops across the UK to take part this year on the 6th December,” said ACS CEO James Lowman.

“Local shops contribute over £37bn to the economy, providing over 386,000 jobs to a diverse range of people in their communities,” he added.

Wholesale buying group Today’s Group is also backing the campaign and is encouraging indies to raise awareness of the event among staff and customers.

“This is a great opportunity for independent retailers to promote their business to the local community,” said Today’s Group retail director John Kinney.

“It’s not just about growing sales on one day – it presents an opportunity for retailers to grow their business on that day and beyond. The customers you serve on the 6th December may be visiting your business for the first time, so it’s a good opportunity to really showcase your offer and gain a customer for life.”

Today’s has also put together a checklist of six tips to help indies make the most out of the event, with pointers such as to create in-store theatre and to highlight promotions.

Musgrave GB’s symbol chain Londis is also supporting Small Business Saturday.

Londis retail director John Pattison said: “Shopping local is key to everything we stand for here at Londis. Our members own stores at the heart of their communities, providing essential goods and services at times of the day when major stores are usually closed. Small Business Saturday gives us a chance to celebrate what we do - because we know that when people spend money locally, the whole economy benefits.”