SMALL businesses are vital to the success of local communities and we can’t just rely on big corporations, a Labour MP has said.

Bill Esterson, the shadow minister for international trade and business, visited small businesses in Old Town today to demonstrate his party’s pledge to help communities thrive.

He took a tour of Old Town, starting at It’s Toy Time in Newport Street before lunch and popping into GlamoRose Cakes, RPM Records and many more.

Bill said: “It’s really important that we support small businesses and encourage them to grow and prosper.

“Small businesses make up 60 per cent of private sector jobs and we want to ensure that they have the tools they need to develop.”

The shadow minister was joined on the tour by Labour councillors Chris Watts and Jane Milner-Barry.

Speaking about what he had found in Swindon, the Sefton Central MP said: “I have heard some really good things here about the important role that businesses play in the local community.”

James Marshman, owner of It’s Toy Time, agreed, and stressed the vital role firms such as his play in organising events.

He said: “The Old Town light switch-on would simply not have been able to go ahead had it not been for the business community coming together to do something good for the town, which is something I am very proud of.”

Bill was even able to have a sit down chat with residents in popular Victoria Road coffee shop Baila.