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
North East soldiers who died in the Battle of Jutland are among those remembered at a series of events on Orkney, in the Shetland Islands
A look ahead at the forecast for the Tyne Tees region
A dead whale has been found washed up on the beach at Marske, near Redcar