Small businesses in Dagenham and Rainham are being championed by local MP Jon Cruddas who is taking concrete steps to support and protect them. As part of his campaign Jon brokered a meeting between local florist Lisa Clark and competitor Tesco.
"I'm not against big business but small businesses are the backbone of our High Streets and our economy. We need a balance.
"That's why when florist Lisa Clark, owner of Lisa's Flowers in Cherry Tree Lane, told me how her business was down £300 a week since Tesco opened, I took action.
"The Tesco store, on the site of the former Cherry Tree Pub sells flowers alongside groceries, making it direct competition to Lisa's small business.
"I arranged for Lisa to meet a representative from Tesco so she could tell him direct how the new store is threatening her livelihood. She was very clear. Since Tesco opened her business has gone right downhill. If things don't pick up soon she will have to close down her shop.
"Lisa isn't the only business to be affected. Tesco have agreed to monitor the situation and report back in six months. I'll be holding them to that.
"If your business has been affected let me know by emailing me on firstname.lastname@example.org so I can take your case straight to Tesco."