SMALL BUSINESSES will be hoping for a Christmas boost as local people prepare for the fifth annual Small Business Saturday.

The annual event is run to encourage people to shop in small stores and show their support for local entrepreneurs.

Tenbury MP Harriett Baldwin is supporting the initiative and is pledging to do some of her Christmas shopping in local stores.

Small Business Saturday takes place on Saturday, December 2 and last year more than £717 million was spent on the day in small independent businesses.

“Each year, I make sure I spend some of my time in the run up to Christmas visiting local small stores and backing the Small Business Saturday initiative,” said Mrs Baldwin.

“We are lucky to have some great local products and whether it is in the high street or in a farm shop, I always look out for ways to show my support and buy local.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and towns like Tenbury would wither and die without passionate local entrepreneurs.

“I urge as many people as possible to go out in our excellent towns on Saturday, December 2 and pick up a bargain in a local shop.”

The idea of Small Business Saturday is supported by the Federation of Small Businesses and takes place as part of a national initiative.

By far the vast majority of people in the UK will work in small and medium sized businesses which are designated as those with 250 employees of less.

However, the vast majority have many fewer workers, often less than double figures.

A significant proportion of these small businesses will be shops and independent traders and in a lot of cases these are heavily dependent upon the period in the run up to Christmas.

This is the reason why the first Saturday in December was chosen as Small Business Saturday.

In Tenbury the Chamber of Trade makes sure that the annual lights have been switched on in time for the day to add to the atmosphere in the town.

Many Tenbury shops are involved with the sale of food, drink, gifts and other items that sell heavily in the period running up to Christmas.

An assurance has been given that work involved in the improvement of the town centre will not take place during this period.

It is the first Christmas that the new Tesco store in the town has been opened and so other smaller traders will be hoping that this does not have a damaging impact upon trade.

Traders hope to benefit from additional parking now available in the town.