A NATIONAL campaign is encouraging Hexham residents to support local businesses in the lead up to Christmas.

Small Business Saturday takes place on 2 December and is an annual initiative to urge shoppers to make the most of what their town centres have to offer.

The campaign is supported by Hexham’s Business Improvement District, which hopes that the people of Hexham will use the day as an excuse to turn out and support small businesses in the town.

Helen Grayshan, manager at Hexham BID is hopeful that the initiative will have a positive impact for both shoppers and business owners.

“Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to showcase the fantastic companies that we have in the town,” she said.

“Many of our small businesses have been in Hexham for a number of years and bring years of knowledge and expertise with their service.

“Our local firms are what make the town centre diverse and we are lucky to have so many independent traders who really care about the products and customer service they provide.”

Hexham has a number of independent traders in the town centre, including Cogito Books at St Mary’s Chare which stocks a range of literature, notebooks and cards, Ashley Matthews Jewellers at Market Place which offers an impressive selection of jewellery and Ralph and Mimi at Beaumont Street which sells a range of traditional children’s clothes and gifts and specialises in made-to-measure garments.

“We are very lucky in Hexham to have a really interesting mix of independent, small businesses that work side by side with national high street names,” said Helen.

“And hopefully people will use the focus of Small Business Saturday to recognise these businesses and support them, not just on 2 December, but throughout the year.”

Small Business Saturday aims to shine a spotlight on independent traders and encourage Hexham shoppers to consider them in the run up to Christmas and beyond.