Today marks Small Business Saturday. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities here in Ilford South.

Since being elected in 2019 I have made it a top priority to support local businesses. However the dire economic state of the country means small businesses across the country are struggling to stay afloat.

From Gants Hill to Ilford lane, bustling small businesses contribute immensely to our economy.

I have been out speaking to business owners about the struggles they are facing.

The road head will be a real challenge for small businesses particulary in the run up to Christmas. The soaring rise of utility prices will see high streets getting quieter as retailers begin closing their doors indefinitely.

People are working harder and earning less.

I am proud to support our small businesses in Ilford South and hope everyone continues to shop locally.