In a bid to save small businesses from being driven out of the UK's high streets, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is urging the government to support its Keep Trade Local campaign.
Inspired by FSB members, the Keep Trade Local manifesto unites campaigning from small businesses with a concrete plan for the government to alleviate the plight of independent retailers. In our economic climate, the problems that face small businesses are obvious to all - we are sleepwalking into a disaster.
The Communities Secretary, Hazel Blears, made some welcome comments on planning this week, but the FSB is challenging her to deliver by launching a Keep Trade Local manifesto that covers changes to five other key areas, which would benefit small businesses as well:
- Parking charges;
- Business rates relief;
- Crime prevention;
- Post Office closures; and
- Public procurement.
The FSB's Keep Trade Local campaign manifesto sets out how our high streets can be kept alive through grassroots change. The manifesto also raises awareness of the value that small businesses provide to consumers, including local produce and personal service.
Clive Davenport, FSB trade and industry chairman, said, "Small businesses and independent retailers are at the heart of our economy and local communities, creating growth and jobs. They must be sufficiently supported.
"Encouraging statements from politicians are of course welcome but they must be backed up with concrete actions.
"Politicians, both locally and nationally, can make a difference by putting in place transparent and fair planning and procurement policies. But they need to wake up quickly to prevent disaster and Keep Trade Local."
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