MSP for Aberdeenshire East, Gillian Martin, has offered her support for this weekend’s Small Business Saturday – which encourages people to shop locally and support their local businesses.
Ms Martin spoke in the members’ debate on Small Business Saturday in Parliament on Thursday and highlighted the work being done by the Inverurie Business Association and NESLIB, the North East Ladies in Business Group. She also mentioned the #eatlocal and #shoplocal campaigns that local businesses have run with Fennel Media based in the town.
Ms Martin intends to spend Small Business Saturday visiting Garioch Distillery in Oldmeldrum which is hosting a Christmas Fair with a range of local micro crafting businesses.
Ms Martin also pointed to SNP Government action to support small businesses across Scotland, including the small business bonus and the £500m growth fund.
She said: “Small Business Saturday is an excellent initiative and one which helps to support local businesses throughout Aberdeenshire.
"We have thriving small towns like Ellon, Inverurie and Oldmeldrum who are sustaining enterprise, not just on their high streets and town centres but throughout.
“The SNP in government has always made efforts to support small businesses across the North East from introducing and extending the small business bonus to launching a growth fund worth £500m to deal with the new challenges created by Brexit.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of Scotland’s economy, supporting jobs and growth in our communities, as well as providing an invaluable service to people across the region. With nearly 14,000 small enterprises across Aberdeenshire, there’s plenty of opportunity for people to get out and shop locally.
“I have a particular interest in women in business, and set up the Cross Party Group at Holyrood on Women in Enterprise. Already our work has highlighted specific business support needed in this area, and the Scottish Government have responded by giving funding to Women’s Enterprise Scotland. The way I see it, the more people we encourage into business the healthier our economy, and if as many women set up in business as their male counterparts we’d inject £7.6 billion into our economy.
“I encourage all constituents to join me on Saturday by visiting local businesses to show support for the Small Business Saturday initiative. With the week coming just weeks before Christmas in the busiest retail time of the year, people should use the opportunity to look at what is on offer in the local shops. I’d also urge people to use the hashtags #shoplocal and #eatlocal to spread the word that support for our local small businesses is important.
“Last year’s event saw £623 million spent across local businesses in the UK, and by getting more people out in their local shops this weekend we can achieve even more – helping to support jobs throughout Aberdeenshire.”