SMALL businesses are a "critical" part of the local economy and community in Leigh, Labour candidate Jo Platt says.

Ahead of Small Business Saturday today (December 3), Ms Platt celebrated local businesses that "enrich our lives" and provide vital jobs, training, and growth in our community.

Reaching the tenth anniversary of the event, Leigh's former MP said it is essential that residents shop local and support small businesses during the difficulties of the cost of living crisis.

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Leigh Journal: Jo Platt has been supporting small businesses in the Leigh Spinners Mill redevelopmentJo Platt has been supporting small businesses in the Leigh Spinners Mill redevelopment (Image: Leigh Journal)

After losing her parliamentary seat in Leigh in 2019, Ms Platt has been leading the regeneration of Spinners Mill; with the 100-year-old building currently housing 65 local businesses and community organisations.

With a further 40 organisations on the waiting list, the Mill is transforming from its industrial roots into a cultural hub where local people are working together to offer a range of products, services and support under one roof.

On Small Business Saturday, Jo Platt said: “The Labour Party is committed to supporting our high streets and I am personally delighted to support this tenth anniversary year of Small Business Saturday.

"Small businesses do so much to enrich our lives and our community in Leigh; providing jobs, training, and driving much-needed economic growth.

"I know that many local businesses have faced massive adversity and hardship over the last few years and now face further challenges with the cost-of-living crisis and soaring energy costs.

"This is why it is so important that we all support our local businesses and shop local where possible."

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Leigh Journal: 3D360, located just off Bradshawgate in Leigh3D360, located just off Bradshawgate in Leigh (Image: 3D 360)

After supporting start-ups and small businesses in the Mill, Ms Platt visited printing business 3D360, off Bradshawgate, ahead of the business event.

She added: “Labour understands the support that small businesses like 3D360 do to support the people of Leigh through their training and skills offer.

"They are a critical part of our future economy, ensuring that the people of Leigh are skilled up for the jobs of tomorrow."

Labour's candidate for the next General Election in Leigh said that the Party is on the side of small businesses to support them and help them thrive.