'Small business Saturdays' to aid local stores

  • @robhastings

Britain should emulate the US by holding a "Small Business Saturday" to encourage people to shop in local independent stores, the shadow Business Secretary has said.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna has suggested making the day an annual event, starting on 7 December this year. On last year's equivalent day in the US, more than $5bn (£3.1bn) was spent in small shops.

Mr Umunna, pictured, said: "Establishing a Small Business Saturday in the UK, a concept which has enjoyed considerable success in the US, would provide a small but simple and effective way to celebrate local small businesses and encourage more people to buy from them on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

He has asked American Express, which sponsors the American version, to look into holding a similar event in the UK.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said that it would consider the suggestion. Local Growth minister Mark Prisk said: "We're determined to offer practical support to our high streets."