Phil Wilson MP joined Shadow Business Secretary Angela Eagle MP in celebrating the contribution of small firms as part of this year’s Small Business Saturday
Consumers were encouraged to ‘shop small’ and celebrate the contribution of entrepreneurs.
Launched in 2013, Small Business Saturday brought a boost to local high streets across the country. In 2014, 16.5 million Britons visited a local independent store – 2.7m more than on Small Business Saturday in 2013.
Across the UK different activities took place to promote Britain’s small businesses.
Phil went across to Chilton to meet one of the area’s newest entrepreneurs and retailers Julie Wafer. Julie was head cook at Ferryhill Business and Enterprise College for 14 years, but always had a dream to start her own bakery.
When she discovered the former Peter's Bakery in Chilton, where she lives, was up for rent she leapt at the chance to move in.
She said: "It was a bit of a standing joke I'd have my own bakery one day so when a friend told me it was for sale I couldn't get off the bus quick enough after work that night to start looking into it."
With the support of partner Wayne Nelson, a self-employed joiner, she took over the shop and opened as The Bakery in January.
The bakery has been so successful, she often has queues out of the door and hopes soon, to take on an extra member of staff.
She said: "I'm so happy I made the move, it is going fantastic and we've been really well supported by the people of Chilton.”
"I use local suppliers, between Gateshead and here, and make my own quiche, corned beef pies and sandwiches to order and I've done some functions."
Phil, who visited her earlier this month, said huge effort goes into running a small businesses and it is an area Labour are 100% committed to supporting.
He added: "It was pleasure to meet Julie and see that hard work and passion in action at a business she started from scratch, she is a credit to Chilton and an example of how important local business is to communities and to the local economy."
Angela Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said: “Small Business Saturday is growing bigger and better every year, it’s such an important day because it puts small businesses in the spotlight and encourages people to shop locally, not only on one of the busiest shopping days of the year but also to encourage a long-term commitment. It provides a great opportunity to thank those who run Britain’s small firms. “Labour wants to do more to help our risk takers and wealth creators, by helping businesses with the challenges they face on issues like access to finance and late payments. We’ll work in partnership with businesses, entrepreneurs and workers to create a stronger economy.”