BLACKBURN MP Kate Hollern has promised to help small firms as they fight for survival.

Her pledge follows a meeting with Paul Foster and Rachel Kay, of the Lancashire and Cumbria division of the Federation of Small Businesses.

Labour MP Mrs Hollern discussed the challenges facing the sector at her constituency office in the town centre.

She said afterwards: “In Blackburn 60 per cent of those in private sector employment work for smaller businesses.

“These people make a major contribution to both the local economy and to the vibrancy of our community - whether this be through local shops and services and catering or through smaller manufacturing firms. I was delighted to meet with Paul and Rachel to hear about the challenges and opportunities for smaller businesses in our area.

“Issues such as crime, late payment by major customers and the strength of the high street can make or break a small business, and I am happy to assist any local employer that needs assistance.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the FSB.”

Development manager Mr Foster said: “It was a very interesting meeting where we discussed the challenges facing small businesses.

“It’s always good to have an MP on board, especially one like Kate who knows here constituency so well.”