Shoppers across Falkirk district are being encouraged to support the local economy this Small Business Saturday (December 2).

The campaign, which celebrates small businesses and the vital role they play in their communities, boosted takings by £717million in Scotland in 2016 by cultivating lasting, year-round support.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, supporting jobs and growth in our communities as well as providing an invaluable service to consumers.

“Falkirk district has a huge variety of brilliant independent, locally-run businesses and it’s important that we support them in a market that’s increasingly dominated by the big players.

“Many people will be out doing Christmas shopping on Saturday and I encourage everyone to see what’s on offer locally. You might be surprised by the unique and special gifts you can find on your doorstep.

“There are 3900 small and medium-sized enterprises in the Falkirk Council area, employing 21,850 people, and by shopping locally we can help them and our communities thrive, because research shows that money spent locally is more likely to stay in the local economy.”