THE Member of the Senedd (MS) for Clwyd South is urging residents to shop local this Christmas, ahead of Small Business Saturday.

Ken Skates MS is backing the grassroots campaign, which urges consumers to help high street shops and independent businesses in their communities.

Saturday December 4 marks this year’s campaign, and the Clwyd South MS wants to see the small local firms who ‘have gone above and beyond’ during the pandemic supported in the run-up to Christmas and into 2022.

Mr Skates said: “The campaign aims to make a positive lasting impact on small businesses. It’s more important than ever this year that we shop locally and support those businesses that have supported us throughout these incredibly difficult times.

“Our small businesses have gone above and beyond throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“As I have said many times before, they are the lifeblood of our towns and villages here in Clwyd South. Research has shown that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business around 63p stays in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger company.

“Shopping local creates more local jobs, it’s better for the environment and it helps to make sure our local shops and services continue to be the backbone of our high streets.”

To highlight the campaign, Mr Skates visited small businesses in Llangollen this week.

He added: “Small local businesses are often competing with the big guns – multinational chains and major franchises backed by huge advertising and marketing budgets.

“A lot of small businesses like IT-Pro, ProAdventure and SFTW have built their excellent reputations up through sheer hard work and word of mouth, and they’re just three of the dozens of fantastic examples in Llangollen and the hundreds across Clwyd South.”

The Welsh Government has targeted much of its £1.7bn+ support package – the most comprehensive anywhere in the UK – towards small businesses throughout the pandemic.

In June, Welsh Ministers extended the 100% discount for all businesses and charities in the leisure and hospitality sectors until April 2022. Retailers in properties with a rateable value of up to £500,000 will also continue to receive full discounts for the remainder of the year.