Jessica Lee: Support small businesses

MP Jessica Lee.
MP Jessica Lee.

With Christmas less than a month away I would like to take the opportunity of starting my column, to appeal for support of our local small businesses.

If you are a regular reader, you will be aware of my constant support for our local businesses, which have fought through tough financial times, continued to supply employment and wages, and kept our local economy afloat. I would really like your help to show them that we support them. Saturday December 7 is Small Business Saturday.

This is a UK wide campaign, created by American Express, to ask people to use their local shops and small businesses. On the run up to Christmas it is a perfect opportunity to see what our high streets and markets have to offer. We all know that it has been a hard time for town centres, so let’s give them some support and consideration to help them thrive. In the middle of this month, I supported National Export Week, which has been introduced by UKTI, the government body which helps UK based companies gain overseas trade; which in turn, helps bring high quality investment to companies in the UK. With many initiatives held last week, I was keen to promote and support businesses expanding trade overseas, which supplies much needed income and jobs to people in Erewash. I visited two Erewash companies to show my support of what they are doing: Armstrong Aviation (Ilkeston) and Acclaim Upholstery (Long Eaton), both of which have taken the leap into the global market and have achieved success. I would like to thank both companies for their hospitality and wish them every success with their future endeavours.

I do hope you had the opportunity to look at the Ilkeston Train Station Information Events in Ilkeston, which were held mid-month. It is really great to see the station plans coming together. Everything is on track for a December 2014 opening, which is really great news for Ilkeston.

I would also like to take this opportunity to make Erewash residents aware of the Derbyshire Fire Authority Consultation currently taking place. This is about the structure and location of the fire stations across Derbyshire. There is lots of information available online at the Derbyshire Fire Authority Website, but if you don’t have the internet and would like a copy, please let me know. The proposals, basically mean that we will have two ‘part time’ fire stations in Erewash; one in Ilkeston and one in Long Eaton. I would like to know your thoughts on the proposal so I can best represent your views. Please do contact me if you have thoughts on this matter.

Finally, thanks to all the students who took part in my Christmas card competition. The standard of entries was extremely high, with some wonderful designs. If passing by, please call in to see all the card designs in my community office.

As ever, if you would like to attend one of my weekly surgeries, please contact me at Jessica.lee.mp@parliament.uk or call 0115 9722419.