Local MP Caroline Dinenage will be supporting 'Small Business Saturday' this weekend and she urges shoppers to support local independent retailers.

'Small Business Saturday' is an initiative encouraging everyone in the UK to shop small, both on the day and beyond. It is the fourth year that the campaign, which originated in the USA, has been run in the UK. The initiative is being led by American Express in collaboration with British businesses, organisations and local authorities, and is fully supported by the Government.

In 2015, shoppers spent £623m with small businesses on Small Business Saturday, an increase of £119m or 24% on 2014. #SmallBizSatUK trended at number 1 all day on Small Business Saturday with over 100,000 tweets sent in support of the day, reaching more than 25 million people and over 75% of local councils actively supported the campaign, delivering on the ground activities including free parking, Christmas fairs and small business networking events plus much more.

Speaking ahead of the event, Caroline said:

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and have the power to drive us ahead in the global race. Alongside government support, small businesses are dependent on British consumers. That is why I am proud to be backing 'Small Business Saturday' which will get people in through the doors of our local independent retailers.

This is a great opportunity for Christmas Shopping in some of the fantastic independent retailers in Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hill Head and Stubbington and don’t forget that 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 is an active member of the BIS Select Committee and was recently appointed Small Business Ambassador for the south by the Prime Minister.

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