Local MP Caroline Dinenage supported 'Small Business Saturday' by visiting lots of local independent retailers.

Among the highlights of Caroline's day was an invitation to open the brand new afro-Caribbean supermarket, Soul Foods, in The Precinct, Gosport. This new shop is the brainchild of Bukola George from Stubbington, who was inspired to start the business because she couldn't source the ingredients locally for her own cooking.

In Lee on the Solent Caroline stopped in for a glass of Buck's Fizz at the White Dog Gallery who had a Small Business Saturday 20% off offer - and bought a Christmas present for a particularly tricky-to-buy-for relative!

Small Business Saturday is an initiative encouraging everyone in the UK to shop small, both on the day and beyond. The initiative is led by American Express in collaboration with British businesses, organisations and local authorities, and supported by the Government.

Last year over 140,000 tweets were sent on the day reaching 130 million people, trending on Twitter in the UK and globally. People across the UK spent a total of £717 million at small businesses, an increase of 15% on 2015 spending.

The event is part of a wider national campaign to raise the profile of small businesses and ensure that the Government is doing all it can to help them flourish.

Commenting Caroline said:

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and have the power to drive us ahead in the global race. That's why I am proud to back 'Small Business Saturday' and encourage people to shop at small independent retailers, on Small Business Saturday and beyond!

I bought some fantastic Christmas presents in some of the wonderful independent retailers across the Gosport Constituency. By shopping small and supporting small business you are also supporting our local community and economy!"

Having run a small business for over 20 years, promoting the value of small businesses has always been a key priority for Caroline. She was an active member of the BIS Select Committee and was appointed Small Business Ambassador for the south by the Prime Minister in 2013.

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