SMALL businesses are the backbone of our local communities, according to MSP Oliver Mundell and MP David Mundell.
They were highlighting the advantages of, where possible, using near-by retailers and services on the eve of 'Small Business Saturday' (December 1) this weekend.
The international event, which was launched eight years ago, highlights the advantages and value to local economies of using community-based independent businesses.
Oliver Mundell, who represents Dumfriesshire at Holyrood, said: "Personal face-to-face contact and local knowledge together with the convenience of nearby after service are just some of the advantages of small local businesses.
"On high streets it is often the local independent businesses which help give towns, like those in my constituency, a distinctive character."
David Mundell, whose Westminster seat covers Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, added: "Small businesses provide a unique selling point for our High Streets and are the backbone of our communities. They know their customers and what they want."