AN EVENT promoting the importance of independent small businesses showcased what the town, and surrounding areas, have to offer last weekend

Small Business Saturday took place across the country and shops around the town offered discounts to celebrate the event and encourage shoppers to buy local on the day.

In Andover La Di Da, Dorthe Thomas, The Travelling Cupcake, Lucy’s Kitchen, Cardea, Tip Top Balloons, David Mellor and Active Staff all offered promotions.

North West Hampshire MP Kit Malthouse visited retailers on the day to show his support for local enterprise.

He said: “It was great to see so many people across North West Hampshire come out to support their local independents on Small Business Saturday.

“We have some fantastic shopkeepers and traders on our high streets, their success is vital for our local area and economy. If we don’t use them, we’ll lose them, and Small Business Saturday is a great initiative to remind us of that.”

The event was celebrated as a ‘success’ in Stockbridge, as the Stockbridge Business Association welcomed Romsey and Southampton North MP Caroline Nokes and the deputy mayor and mayoress of Test Valley to Stockbridge High Street.

Shops along High Street had special offers and festive drinks and nibbles.

Caroline Nokes visited several business, chatting to shop owners about the challenges on the High Street, then had her face painted at The Wykeham Gallery.

The deputy mayor of Test Valley, councillor Martin Hatley and his wife Jo, concentrated on the new businesses in Stockbridge, many of which are in the Vine development where on Saturday there was music at Vine Pianos, carol singing by the Farleigh School Choir and a visit from Father Christmas.