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A NEW initiative to encourage people to do their shopping exclusively in shops owned by small businesses has been welcomed by Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage.

Small Business Saturday will take place on Saturday, December 7 and will see small retailers offering unique deals to entice shoppers into their stores.

The initiative is being led by American Express in collaboration with British businesses, organisations and local authorities, and is supported by the government.

Caroline said: ‘Small Business Saturday is a great way to get people in through the doors of our local independent retailers and see some of the unique and innovative products that they have to offer.

‘Here in Gosport we’ve seen a huge boom in the number of local shops opening up recent months, particularly on Stoke Road where Sunflower, an Oriental cookery shop, and Bay Hill Boutique have joined more established retailers.

‘With Christmas just around the corner, where better to get that one of a kind gift for a loved one whilst also supporting Britain’s small businesses?’

Small Business Saturday originated in the USA.