Judith Cochrane MLA said: “After the tremendous success of the first Small Business Saturday in Northern Ireland last year, I would encourage everybody to support their local traders on Saturday 6th December. Our small businesses play a vital role in our towns and cities, and are often at the heart of the community, providing a variety of goods and services from the local butcher to the hair salon or cafe.
“Consumerism has changed in recent years with the rise of online shopping and out of town retail parks, but I believe there is still a market for our small businesses to fill. Shops and business must adapt to these changes and make shopping in our town and city centres a different experience that will attract trade to our high street. However it is also up to the public to show their support for our local traders.
“The Assembly Group on SMEs has sought to make the promotion of our local traders a key priority and on Thursday I met with Kirsty McManus and Nicholas Read from the SME Centre at Ulster University Business School to discuss what else the group can be doing to help our SMEs.
“Many traders rely on the Christmas period to sustain their business throughout the year, so I would encourage everybody to take part in Small Business Saturday to support our local traders.”