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UK urged to copy US small shops initiative

Britain should adopt a US initiative to encourage shoppers to use small, local shops, shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna suggested.

President Barack Obama visited an independent book shop on this year's Small Business Saturday, which has taken place on the first weekend after Thanksgiving in the US since 2010.

Now Mr Umunna has written to credit card giant American Express, which devised and sponsors the initiative, to ask if it could bring it to UK high streets as well.

US figures suggest US consumers aware of the promotion, which is heavily plugged in social media and enjoys celebrity support, spent £3.4bn in small shops on the day this year. "We must do more to celebrate the contribution local, small independent businesses make to our economy and encourage people to buy from them," the shadow business secretary said. "Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy.''

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