Saturday, 5 December 2020

Small Business Saturday- celebrating our local small businesses

Today is Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to celebrating the brilliant small businesses in our local communities. And after what has been a challenging year for local businesses, this year's Small Business Saturday is especially significant.

This year, I have been running my Small Business Awards, and asked local residents across Tynedale and Ponteland to nominate local independent businesses that they felt deserve recognition for their hard-work, going above and beyond to serve their communities.

We received hundreds of nominations from across Tynedale and Ponteland, proving how valued and essential small businesses are to local residents. I am delighted to present those businesses with the most nominations with 'Highly Commended' certificates. These include:

  • Humble and Clark Legal
  • Balls Fish and Chips, Prudhoe
  • JA Stobo & Son, Wylam
  • North Acomb Farm Shop
  • Richard Skeet, Haltwhistle
  • Patricia J Arnold Chartered Accountants
In addition to the dozens of 'Highly Commended' businesses, we also have an overall winner. This year my Small Business Award winner is Billy Bell in Haltwhistle. Billy Bell is a hugely popular local business, and one of the oldest family-run businesses in Haltwhistle- a very worthy winner!

This has been a really tough year for our local businesses. The Coronavirus pandemic has hit them hard and they have had to work incredibly hard to adapt to new challenges, whilst also going the extra mile to support the most vulnerable in their communities. That's why it is more important than ever that we do our bit and shop local, because if we don't use our local businesses, we will lose them. 

The government has provided unprecedented financial support to help businesses through this tough time. Across Tynedale and Ponteland, this means:

  • 9,800 jobs furloughed throughout 2020, helping to protect people's jobs and incomes during this difficult time. 
  • More than £7 million in support for the self-employed
  • More than £14 million in discounted loans for local businesses.
  • Over £50 million in Bounce Back Loans
  • VAT cuts and business rates holidays for many small businesses, including those in the hospitality and retail sectors.