TRADERS in Houghton have met with their local MP for the first ever ‘Small Business Saturday’ event.
Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson met with Houghton Traders Association (HTA) to add her backing.
The newly-formed group of independent and national traders has been set up to campaign for the ‘shop local’ message.
As well as encouraging people to shop in the town centre, they want to attract a wider variety of shops.
Ms Phillipson visited the Peppercorn Coffee Shop, in Newbottle Street, on Friday to talk to traders and show her support, ahead of the event which took place on what is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
A nationwide grass-roots campaign, Small Business Saturday, encourages people to shop locally to support small businesses, and sees shops offer special deals.
Ms Phillipson added: “Local people have told me how much they care about our towns and shopping centres, particularly the small and independent businesses such as those on Newbottle Street in Houghton.
“People value the choice they get from smaller shops, which is why I met with representatives of Houghton Traders Association to work with them and offer my support ahead of the first Small Business Saturday.”
Federation of Small Businesses chairman, John Allan, said: “The Federation of Small Businesses is delighted that Bridget Phillipson has backed the very first Small Business Saturday.
“The campaign is an excellent moment to celebrate the contribution that the smallest firms make to local communities and the national economy.”