‘Small Business Saturday’ is a global grass roots campaign which encourages people to ‘shop small and local’ to support businesses in their communities. It culminates on the first Saturday of December with a series of events seen right across the country.

Many of you may have already seen promotions from myself and Chris Elmore MP via our successful joint social media campaign which gives a shout out to our many creative and diverse independent businesses in Ogmore.

Every year the campaign gets bigger with more business owners reaching out to us. This year it has been wonderful to highlight new and innovative products that people may not be aware of – especially via our growing online traders.

Due to the sheer number of people contacting us we often continue the promotions well into the new year. So please spread the word and get in touch if you know of a small business in the Ogmore constituency that you’d like us to promote.

Our front-line shop workers across all retail stores work extremely hard to provide us with a service sometimes in exceedingly difficult circumstances. The festive period can be particularly problematic as stores get very busy and shoppers increasingly frustrated.

I was pleased to support my Usdaw Union colleagues in the Senedd recently for the launch of their ‘Respect Shopworkers’ and ‘Freedom from Fear’ Campaign. It was shocking to hear that violence, abuse, and intimidation towards our shopworkers is on the increase. They are encouraging people to report incidents of abuse and to share their experience via their online survey link:

http://www.usdaw.org.uk/Campaigns/Freedom-From-Fear

These workers are our mums and dads, sons, and daughters, working in the big stores and little shops, on our retail parks and high streets. So, as we encourage people to support our local shops and high streets, we also ask that our shop workers are treated with respect and dignity as they go about their working day. Abuse is not part of their job, and everyone deserves to feel safe whilst in work.

Remember to shop small, shop local, not just on Small Business Saturday but every day all year round, and do it in a respectful and courteous manner.