Shopping locally was the message

By Ian Dipple Friday 13 December 2013 Updated: 13/12 09:30

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Buy photos » Redditch MP Karen Lumley with Batchley Fish Bar owner Andrew Ellinas. (s)

THE ADVANTAGES of shopping locally were highlighted at the weekend as Redditch took part in the UK’s first ever Small Business Saturday event.

Originally an American idea, it has made its way to British shores driven by Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna and backed by all three main political parties. The aim is to shine a spotlight on what small businesses have to offer during what is the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

Redditch MP Karen Lumley took to the streets on Saturday (December 7) and visited several small businesses including the Crafty Cafe at the Old Needleworks in Britten Street, Rachel’s Cupcakes in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre and Batchley Road Fish Bar.

“It was extremely encouraging to learn of their individual success and the different journeys they have been on in order to survive and thrive,” she said.

“I think it is important to celebrate the fantastic range of independent small businesses we have and to encourage people to ‘shop local’ to ensure their sustainability.”

Rebecca Blake, Labour’s Parliamentary spokeswoman for Redditch, was also out backing the promotion popping into Vintage Trax in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, Cafe Mambo No.5 by the bandstand and Cutting Edge in Church Hill.

She said the day was an important reminder of the fact small businesses were the backbone of Redditch’s economy.

“Where we can we need to try and not just ‘Buy British’, but ‘Buy Redditch’ to support local jobs,” she added.

Judi Brazkiewicz, chairman of the Worcestershire branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, said the day had been well received and nationally they were looking at how to improve it for next year.

“Anything that brings attention to small businesses has got to be a good thing,” she said.

“We had good support from our local MPs but what we want to see is something tangible put in place that can be ongoing rather than a short-term one day boost for retail.”

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