Hastings MP Amber Rudd is urging people to support small businesses in the town saying they provide the lifeblood of the local economy.
She spoke out during the Small Business Saturday event on December 1.
Amber visited local shops and welcomed the enormous contribution small businesses make to the community.
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She said: “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, boosting job creation and helping us to achieve record levels of employment in the UK.
“This means we have seen 330,000 more people in work in the South East since 2010, including here in Hastings and Rye.
“Small Business Saturday is a great chance for local business owners to showcase their products and services to the local community and if you’re a jobseeker with a business idea we can help too, by providing financial support and a business mentor”
“I particularly enjoyed spending Small Business Saturday visiting high streets and supporting the small businesses we have here with my Christmas shopping. It was great to see Hastings and Rye come together and hold various fairs to help get all of us into the festive spirit.”
Small Business Saturday promotes the value of small business to local communities as well as the economy – 99 per cent of UK businesses are SMEs – responsible for nearly half of economic output and 60% of private sector employment in the UK.
Amber highlighted the support her Department gives to encourage business start-ups through the New Enterprise Allowance.
She said: “Around 120,000 businesses have been launched through the NEA, an average of 45 a day since the scheme was launched in 2011. – helping to create more jobs, and boosting wages.
“The New Enterprise Allowance helps jobseekers set up their own small business with Government financial support for up to six months, access to a business mentor and the opportunity for a loan of up to £25,000 to help with start-up costs.
“In October’s Budget the government extended the NEA fund beyond March 2019, worth £40 million and giving small businesses the chance to grow with South East businesses exporting £22 billion this year.”