As part of his Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne has frozen business rate relief for small businesses.
And that business rate news will be welcome on our High Streets.
Gregg Easteal has been to visit two stores with contrasting takes on whether tills are really starting to ring louder again on our shopping streets.
More top news
Gale force winds and spells of rain to start the weekend. The Met Office have now issued a warning
Paul Brand meets more parliamentary candidates in our last political programme before the General Election. Watch it here:
A look ahead at the forecast for the Tyne Tees region.