Party co-chairman Amanda Milling has picked a team of 12 to represent Scotland,Wales, Northern Ireland and every English region. She said: “The team brings a wide range of experience and represents every region, reinforcing this Conservative Government’s commitment to level up across the country. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and now, more than ever, it’s important we make our country the best in the world to start and grow a business and ensure Britain’s businesses can unleash their enormous potential.”

Meanwhile, firms will be encouraging local shoppers to spend money as part of Small Business Saturday, now in its eighth year.

But this year is considered all the more important after the battering traders have taken during the pandemic.

Campaign director Michelle Ovens also urged shoppers to continue showing their support in the weeks and months ahead to help businesses on the road to recovery.

She stressed that millions of individual decisions to shop locally “add up to one big impact to boost small businesses at this difficult time”. Research for Small Business Saturday found 59 per cent supported small firms more than they did before the pandemic.

Today’s event comes on the first full shopping weekend after lockdown was lifted.

Last year, 17.6 million people chose to shop locally on the day, spending more than £800million. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “Small businesses across the country have made a monumental effort during this crisis.

“They have stepped up when it was most needed, supporting their local communities and making huge sacrifices to help tackle the spread of the virus. Now we must repay them.

“The Government must ensure businesses, particularly those facing the toughest restrictions, are supported to see them through the winter.”


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