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Shoppers are being urged to support independent borough businesses by spending their money locally on Small Business Saturday this weekend.
The annual campaign, backed by Dudley Council, is now in its sixth year and takes place in 2018 on December 1.
It champions the UK’s small and medium-sized businesses, and last year £717m was spent nationwide with small companies on the day.
The Federation of Small Businesses says for every pound spent in an independent shop, about 70p stays in the local economy.
Councillor Keiran Casey, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said:
Independent shops are the heart of our communities and what make our local town centres unique.
We have some fantastic long established family-run businesses right across the borough and these not only provide unique purchases and experiences, but they create jobs for local people too.
Small Business Saturday is a real opportunity for us all to show how much we value our local high street and I would urge everyone to shop local this Saturday.”
Dave Carter, co-owner of the Arcade Toy Shop in Dudley town centre, said:
Please think local on Small Business Saturday.
You often find that independent businesses such as ours have stock that no-one else has and you will find quirky and interesting gifts that you can’t find anywhere else.
If you buy locally, you’ll keep money in the local economy and you will help to keep the high street alive. Ultimately, the message is, for local shops – use it or lose it.”
Free parking will be available in council-run car parks in Stourbridge town centre on Small Business Saturday, which coincides with the town’s Christmas lights switch-on.
Further free parking will be available in local authority car parks on the last two Saturdays before Christmas, December 15 and 22. The council already offers two hours’ free daytime parking in town centres, and bosses have recently announced plans to scrap charges to park at night.
Support for Small Business Saturday is one of a number of initiatives at Dudley Council to foster local business growth.
Dudley Business First, run by the local authority, provides a single point of contact for businesses and investors. It offers free and tailored services to help local businesses. For more details on Dudley Business First, go to www.dudleybusinessfirst.org.uk or call 01384 812001.