10 DEC 2014

Maidstone MP & Tourism Minister Helen Grant champions local firms for Small Business Saturday

Helen Grant, MP for Maidstone and the Weald and Minister for Tourism, championed small businesses in Maidstone on Saturday as part of Small Business Saturday.

Mrs Grant visited several businesses in the County Town with the Kent branch of the Federation of Small Business. Starting at Maidstone Town Hall, Helen stopped by at Harpers Gifts, Ronald White Photographic and Optical Specialists, Sew A Good Yarn, and Charmian Beaton Jewellery.

Small Business Saturday is aimed at supporting, inspiring and promoting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, December 6th. The grassroots, non-political, non-commercial campaign, highlights small business success and encourages consumers to 'shop local' and support small businesses in their communities.

Commenting on the initiative, Helen said:

"The FTSE 100 gets a mention every day in our news bulletins but over 99% of businesses in the UK are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). They are the lifeblood of our economy, employing some 14.4 million people.

"Locally in Maidstone and the Weald there are hundreds of fantastic SME's covering a diverse range of sectors. They are a pillar of community life but they too rely on our support, particularly on the high street.

"I was delighted to join the Kent Branch of the Federation of Small Business on a tour of our bustling County Town to mark the second annual 'Small Business Saturday' event

"It was great talking to so many enthusiastic managers and entrepreneurs in a mix of marvellous offerings; Harpers Gifts, Ronald White Photographic and Optical Specialists, Sew A Good Yarn, and Charmian Beaton Jewellery to name just a few!

"The Government is backing small businesses through a number of measures including the doubling of Small Business Rate Relief and support for millions of new apprenticeships.

"The best support, however, comes from all of us. 'Small Business Saturday' takes place just once a year; but our local SME's need us all year round. As the Christmas crescendo develops, we can all remember to shop local whenever we can"

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