A rallying call to support local business in the run-up to Christmas has been issued by Middlesbrough Councillors.
They’ve set up a special Facebook page to showcase the best of local enterprise, and encourage people to back local jobs and investment.
Linthorpe ward Councillor Philippa Storey got the page up and running after being contacted by local resident Louise Redpath, and it’s already attracted nearly 900 members.
Trainee nurse Louise said: “I saw an opening to help small businesses in our area in the run-up to Christmas, especially in light of recent difficulties due to Covid.
“A Facebook group for small businesses and customers to window shop online seemed the best solution.
“The hope is to help small businesses increase their trade and highlight the talent and make things a little easier for them.”
Louise is calling on everyone in Middlesbrough to shop locally to save our small businesses this Christmas.
Research has estimated the devastating impact of Covid-19 on small businesses through the course of the pandemic at £69 billion, with 234,000 closing down forever.
Linthorpe ward Councillor Philippa Storey said she was only too happy to pick up the reins in such a good cause.
She said: “We absolutely needed a support group for our small and micro businesses and Work At Home Mums (WAHMs).
“Many of our micro businesses rely on Christmas sales to see them through most of the next year.
“This year has already seen many pushed to breaking point and anything we can do to help, must be done.
“There is an impressive collection of businesses in the group already ranging from amazing bakers and eco toiletries to hand painted slate coasters and local artisan gin. We have a creative and talented group of individual small and micro businesses and this is a way to promote them.”
Ladgate ward Councillor Craig Wright, who runs the page with Cllr Storey, added: “I am passionate about supporting small businesses to succeed.
“In Ladgate ward, Rosalind’s Larder is a great example of the talent we have in Teesside.
“Businesses like Rosalind’s are forgotten by government support schemes – they are very much the forgotten tier in our economy and we need to address this.
“I hope everyone can support local, small businesses this Christmas.”