This weekend marks Small Business Saturday, where we encourage people to use the shops and services that make our communities unique. I’ve recently visited a number of local businesses across our area, at Newfield Green and Woodseats, and if there are some you haven’t visited but have been meaning to, this weekend is the perfect chance.

Small businesses contribute a huge amount to our area, and not just in terms of jobs and services. They help keep representatives like me in touch with issues that affect them, from business rates to anti-social behaviour, and often feed back into the local economy by sourcing local products like at the jewellery shop I visited.

If you get the chance – either this weekend or any other time – your local businesses appreciate the custom much more than the big chains, and might surprise you with what they can offer, too.