I am urging local people to make a special effort to shop local this year Today as part of Small Business Saturday.
The campaign is entering its third year and it is the UK's most successful small business campaign. Last year 16.5 million adults went out to support a small business on Small Business Saturday, and collectively they spent £504 million.
Small businesses are vital to our local economy here in Northumberland and make valuable contribution to our community. I hope local people will join me in supporting our local traders this year by making a special effort to shop local.
There are 27,000 more businesses in the North East than in 2010, and many of them small and medium sized business who have helped create more jobs and opportunities in our area. It is our local business who have helped to ensure the number of people claiming unemployment benefits is down by 51 per cent since 2010.
I am doing all I can to support our small businesses this year, and I will be out and about this weekend supporting Small Business Saturday; if you have your special local business then please tell me all about it: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will publicise it if I can.