Heather Wheeler, MP for South Derbyshire, today made visits to Linton Post Office and Convenience Store and the Castle Gresley Post Office and Store as part of Small Business Saturday.
Founded in the US in 2010, the first Small Business Saturday event took place in the UK in December 2013. It is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign highlighting the success of small business and encouraging people to shop locally.
The event, which takes place in the UK annually on the first Saturday in December, generated estimated local business sales of £748 million on the day in 2017.
Heather was keen to highlight two local businesses in South Derbyshire who are real assets to the community.
The Linton Post Office and Convenience Store is run by Jagwinder Aytain and is a thriving asset to the communities in Linton and Coton Park. Mr Aytain’s premises are called The Hub and comprise a traditional post office, a Spar convenience store and an area for people to meet over a cup of coffee. In addition he also offers mobile Post Office services to many villages covering 5 Counties which is of amazing benefit to rural communities.
Heather was really pleased to visit Mr Aytain and to congratulate him on his drive and resilience following the traumatic robbery that occurred at his premises in June 2018.
Mr Aytain, said:
“My family and I have been here 9 years and we have tried to make it a place where everyone in the village is pleased to come and shop. I have modernized the premises myself giving them a traditional village feel and have extended the range of goods and services we offer. Shopping local makes sense.”
The Castle Gresley Post Office and Store has been run by Maria Hancox for the last 14 years and although the premises are small, Maria has extended the range of services offered from behind the post office counter and has carved out a niche for her business as a traditional sweet shop.
Maria Hancox, said: “As well the Post Office I have adapted the store side of the business over time and now sell lots of different sweets including some of the old fashioned ones. The children love them.”
Commenting upon her visits as part of Small Business Saturday, Heather said:
“Small businesses are right at the heart of our local communities here in South Derbyshire and it is right that we highlight the hard work of those that run them.
Small Business Saturday is such a worthwhile event and while it is only for one day a year, I would encourage South Derbyshire residents to look closer to home when they are doing their shopping and make shopping local a habit the whole year round."