Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed, joined fellow shoppers in her constituency to support small businesses this weekend.
The MP, who was keen to do her Christmas shopping at small, local shops, praised the incredible resilience of small businesses in Northumberland, and the extra efforts they have gone to in order to keep their staff and customers safe during these unprecedented times.
Anne-Marie said: “It has been incredibly heartening to see so many others joining me in supporting our small businesses, and choosing to shop local for Christmas gifts and other goods. So many local businesses have also been involved in community volunteering throughout the pandemic, and they deserve our support more than ever this year.”
She added “Yet again I was so impressed by the covid-secure measures shops have put in place to ensure we can all stay safe as we do our shopping. I was so pleased to see shopkeepers taking this so seriously, which will be reassuring for customers.”
This year, Small Business Saturday comes at the end of a hugely challenging period for small businesses, with many facing long periods of closure and reduced income due to the pandemic.
Throughout the course of pandemic, the Government has provided more than £280 billion to support lives and livelihoods. This includes:
- The furlough scheme, which has now been extended until the end of March and continues to support 2,100 jobs in the Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency.
- Grants for the self-employed, which have been made more generous in light of recent national and local lockdown announcements, and which have benefitted 6,100 people in Anne-Marie’s constituency.
- Loans and Government-backed grants which have helped businesses facing severely reduced income because of pandemic.
- VAT cuts and business rates holidays for many small businesses, including those in the hospitality and retail sectors.
The Government is determined not to be blown off course by the pandemic and deliver on its promise, made at the General Election one year ago, to level up towns and communities across the whole country. To aid this, the Chancellor has recently announced a new £4 billion Levelling Up Fund to improve the infrastructure people and businesses rely on every day, following the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, and £1 billion Future High Streets Fund, which are helping to transform town centres across the country.