The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has delivered a 55,000-strong petition to Downing Street to demand government action to protect local businesses.

The Keep Trade Local campaign is calling on the government to act on six key issues: planning; parking charges; business rates; crime; post office closures; and public procurement.

FSB chairman John Wright said: "Small businesses have been suffering from post office closures, late payers, planning delays, hidden business crime and a tenuous relationship with the banks. At the same time, we have been hit by a recession that is killing more than 120 small firms a day," he added.

"The onus is now on local government to ensure our small firms and high streets thrive."

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