Support small businesses during the holiday season

Support small businesses during the holiday season

During the heat of the pandemic, stories of small businesses experiencing lost sales and closures in the city center were difficult. Despite the challenging circumstances, many of these small businesses remained optimistic that brighter days would come.

Unfortunately, this optimism and resilience is being tested. Meta’s Last “Global State of Small Business Report”, which surveyed over 20,000 small businesses around the world in July 2022, including more than 9,000 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), revealed that times remain tough, with small businesses now also facing supply chain disruptions , geopolitical uncertainty, inflation and increases in energy and production costs.

Almost 20% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) globally reported being closed in July 2022, mainly in response to COVID and additional business challenges. Over half of all SMEs (60%) reported that they had to increase the prices of products and services in the last 6 months.

The holiday season is critical for small businesses. In fact, the study showed that 25% of SME owners expect to earn more than half of their annual income in the final months of the year.

Showcasing small business gifts that #DeserveToBeFound

With this important festive sales period underway, we are introducing the latest edition of our “Good ideas deserve to be found” campaign – to celebrate unique gift ideas from small businesses across EMEA and encourage holiday shoppers to support local SMEs.

As we all know, finding the perfect gift for your loved ones can be challenging. In fact, nearly half of holiday shoppers in EMEA find it difficult to decide what gift to get for others (Meta Seasonal Holidays Study by YouGov, December 2021).

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As a result, people are looking for unexpected gift ideas this holiday season—especially ones that enable them to support small businesses. Some 57% of holiday shoppers in EMEA enjoy discovering relevant items they are not actively looking for, and 90% are likely to try a new brand during the holiday season. In addition, over half of holiday shoppers in EMEA reported making a special effort to buy from a local, small business.

That’s why this holiday season we’re back on a mission to showcase extraordinary, one-of-a-kind gifts from some of the most creative and innovative small businesses across the EMEA region.

SMBs are a treasure trove of inspiring products and services guaranteed to surprise and delight. From matching, handmade knitted goods for you and or your dog Irish dog design to traditional basket decor from a family business Siostry Plotą in Poland, many small businesses offer craft products from skilled craftsmen that you won’t find anywhere else.

If you’re looking for a truly personalized gift, small business owners can even help you create memorable, one-of-a-kind pieces. For example, Nos Cher’s Enfants in France gives you the opportunity to record a children’s audiobook with your own voice. BISCUIT Magic in Germany lets you express your best wishes with custom holiday cookies, and thanks Coverlab in Italy you can build custom, quirky phone cases that are sure to be a hit under the tree.

As many countries prepare for their first Christmas free from Covid, shoppers are also spending experiences and time together. Over a fifth of festive shoppers in EMEA reported shopping for experiences, live events or travel categories. So alongside extraordinary products from small businesses, we spotlight unique activities to gift to family or friends, including abseiling, kayaking or paintball with BraveHearts Expeditions in Ghana or an unforgettable trip to Paris in one vintage sidecar.

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Digital tools drive growth in small businesses

Small businesses are adapting their business models and pivoting online to turn their fortunes around and boost growth. According to a 2022 Small Business Study from Ipsos, SMEs across EMEA reported that they have moved all or most of their business operations from face-to-face to online since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (for example, 61% in Egypt, 50% in Nigeria, 35% in Israel and 30% in Germany). 46% of SMEs in Sweden even reported that most of their sales are online, with 39% in the Netherlands and 38% in the UK and Norway reporting the same.

Furthermore, the findings show that Meta-apps are crucial to the success of small businesses. Of SMEs in the EU currently using Meta apps, 75% reported that Meta apps helped their business grow, 53% said they helped increase access to new customers, and 60% noted that Meta- apps have even helped create jobs in the local community.

Digital tools are especially important during the critical festive trading period. Research conducted by YouGov reveals that 68% of holiday shoppers in EMEA discovered ideas or browsed the web for inspiration during the 2021 holiday season. The study shows that Meta apps lead online discovery at this time, outperforming both e-commerce and search. What’s more, when holiday shopping online, 26% of holiday shoppers in EMEA found a local business they didn’t know about in the first place.

In the face of new economic headwinds, getting discovered and connecting with customers online during the holidays is not only critical to the bottom line, but fundamental to any small business that wants to thrive and connect with its customers in the months and years to come .

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Meta deals with small businesses. More than 200 million businesses use our apps every month to reach customers and grow. We have more than 10 million active advertisers across our services, most of whom are small and medium-sized businesses. This latest campaign is a continuation of our efforts to help SMEs unlock financial opportunities and ensure their great ideas can be found, in EMEA and beyond.

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