SHOPPERS are urged to support independent borough businesses by spending their money locally on Small Business Saturday this weekend.

The annual campaign, which champions the UK’s small and medium-sized businesses, is now in its sixth year and takes place on Saturday December 1.

The Federation of Small Businesses says for every pound spent in an independent shop, about 70p stays in the local economy.

Councillor Keiran Casey, Dudley's cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: "Independent shops are the heart of our communities and what make our local town centres unique.

"We have some fantastic long established family-run businesses right across the borough and these not only provide unique purchases and experiences, but they create jobs for local people too.

"Small Business Saturday is a real opportunity for us all to show how much we value our local high street and I would urge everyone to shop local this Saturday.”

Free parking will be available in council-run car parks in Stourbridge town centre on Small Business Saturday, which coincides with the town’s Christmas lights switch-on.

Further free parking will be available in local authority car parks on the last two Saturdays before Christmas - December 15 and 22.

The council already offers two hours’ free daytime parking in town centres, and bosses have recently announced plans to scrap charges to park at night.