Hartlepool shoppers urged to back independent traders on Small Business Saturday

Hartlepool shoppers are being urged to support their local independent traders this weekend as Small Business Saturday returns.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 3:39 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd December 2021, 3:41 pm

The national campaign encourages people to spend locally on this year’s Small Business Saturday.

Houghton and Sunderland South Labour MP Bridget Phillipson is visiting businesses across the region to promote the event.

Her first stop was Hartlepool, where she visited The Arches shopping village, in Park Road, and chatted with business owners.

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She said Small Business Saturday was a chance to help independent retailers who had been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and added: “In the run-up to Christmas, Small Business Saturday is an important opportunity to support High Street firms that have faced a tough 18 months,” she said.

"I’d urge everyone to get out and support their local High Street this weekend.”

And she highlighted Labour’s call for the abolition of business rates in an effort to reduce the gap between local small businesses and on-line giants such as Amazon.

"Because we know how difficult it has been for High Street firms in the last 18 months, we believe business rates should be frozen in the first place, then replaced with a new system altogether,” she said.

Bridget Phillipson MP, centre, with Tom Feeney and Debbie Conway, of The Arches-based Kraft Work Yarns

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"Time and again, businesses raise the concerns they have over business rates.

“The system has not kept pace with changes in the economy – we want to do more to level that playing field between the on-line giants and high street businesses.

"At the moment the system disadvantages family-run, High Street firms.”

Arches manager Tom Feeney.

Arches manager Tom Feeney urged everyone to support their independent traders on traders on Small Business Saturday.

"It is incredibly important, especially since the pandemic,” he said.

"A lot of independent businesses have struggled over the last 18 months to two years now. We need to get behind them as much as we can.”

Tom is proud of the number of small businesses in the town who started out at The Arches, which offers a range of business support services to tenants and added: “The Achces is is a bit of an incubator,” he said.

"We have been home to a lot of thriving businesses.”

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