This weekend, we’ll celebrate Small Business Saturday. This national initiative aims to highlight the success of ours small businesses, as well as encouraging customers to shop locally.

Every year, I mark Small Business Saturday by organising my Local Business Awards. If you ever need a demonstration of the wonderful array of businesses across Tameside, look no further than these awards. From shops, to restaurants, to plumbers to gyms; there’s no shortage of local businesses doing excellent work.

These awards started as a bit of fun, but have evolved into a really competitive annual event, and one that aims to showcase local businesses that go above and beyond for their customers.

I’ve long believed in the importance of championing and supporting small businesses. There’s the more obvious economic argument that doing so improves local and national output, but also the social one too. Local businesses are places where we see friends, neighbours, and connect with our community.

Times are tough at the moment, not least for small business owners. In the same way as their customers, many businesses are having to contend with soaring energy bills, as well as rising cost of materials and wholesale goods.

This is obviously cause for real concern, countless lives and livelihoods rest on the fortunes of local businesses, and the Government should be doing everything it can to keep them afloat during this economic crisis.

After all, that’s how all local businesses start; as a dream which becomes a reality through hard work, determination and a sprinkling of good luck.

When local businesses succeed, we all do. So, this small business Saturday, if you’re able to, I’d encourage you to shop local. In fact, there’s no better time to do it in than the run-up to Christmas. Instead of popping online for that last-minute Christmas gift, maybe consider taking a walk down the high street and seeing what you can find. That way we can make sure that small businesses in Tameside continue to thrive over the months and years ahead.

Constituency Office Address

Town Hall, Market Street, Denton, M34 2AP

Parliamentary Office Address

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA