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01 December 2016

MSPs name favourite Scottish smaller firms

Reference number: SPUR0112

A cheesemonger, a local café, a knitting store and a gift shop have been named as favourite local firms by MSPs ahead of Small Business Saturday.

With the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) urging shoppers to back their high street this weekend, MSPs are debating the contribution of local firms in the Scottish Parliament later today (Thursday). FSB is urging MSPs to mention favourite local businesses in their speeches.

Ash Denham, MSP for Edinburgh Eastern, named local business Two Sisters on Portobello Road, Edinburgh, as a rising local firm. Ash tabled the motion backing Small Business Saturday.

Ash said: “I am delighted to support Small Business Saturday and to encourage people to support jobs in their communities. Edinburgh Eastern benefits from many fantastic small businesses, such as the new Two Sisters shop in Portobello which has been receiving lots of positive feedback from locals.”

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale also highlighted another Portobello firm The Beach House café as an enterprise which contributed to the local community. She said: “…the Beach House doesn’t need that sunny weather we crave, especially at this cold time of year; it’s full of local residents and visitors every day of the year because of its welcoming atmosphere and excellent service - not to mention the range of delicious delicacies on offer.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of local communities – they not just offer a boost to the local economy and bring jobs, they add so much more in terms of character and personality to an area. I am proud to be supporting Small Business Saturday this year.”

Patrick Harvie MSP, the Scottish Greens’ finance and economy spokesperson, named cheesemonger George Mewes on Glasgow’s Byres Road as a personal favourite.

He said: “High streets and small businesses across Scotland play a huge role in the economy and have their roots in the communities they serve, but they continue to feel pressure from the big chains so it’s important we do all that we can to level the playing field. One easy way people can help is to consider a local alternative to online shopping when they begin buying their Christmas presents.”

Ross Thomson, Scottish Conservative MSP for the North East Region, highlighted Wool for Ewe in Rosemount, Aberdeen, as an award-winning local operator.

He said: "There are lots of great small businesses in Aberdeen that the surrounding area that are a vital part of our local economy. However, many are facing difficult times at the moment due to the knock-on effect of the downturn in the oil and gas industry.

"I think Small Business Saturday is a great initiative that allows people to show how much they appreciate these companies in their local area.”

Small Business Saturday takes place on the first Saturday in December, the busiest shopping day of the year. In 2015 the day saw customers across the UK spend £623m in independent businesses according to the organisers.

Andy Willox, FSB’s Scottish Policy Convenor said: “Independent businesses are essential to the success of Scotland’s communities.

“Now in its fourth year, Small Business Saturday gives Scots an opportunity to back their incredible local small businesses. The response has been fantastic, with each year better than the last.

“Whether you’re popping out for a paper or off to do some Christmas shopping with friends, make sure you visit your local small firms and check out the phenomenal goods and services on offer right on your doorstep. Let’s make 2016 another terrific Small Business Saturday.”