Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Dean Lockhart MSP has today addressed business leaders at the Scottish Grocers' Federation Executive meeting held at Fife Creamery in Kirkcaldy.
The convenience store sector directly employs over 41,000 people and contributes some £532 million per annum to the Scottish economy in Gross Value Added.
Each independent store also reinvests hundreds of thousands of pounds each year back into the local economy by providing local jobs, using local services and local suppliers.
Topics under discussion included non-domestic rates, Digital Services Tax, changes to the ATM network and Scottish Conservative priorities for the Scottish budget.
Dean Lockhart MSP said:
''It was a great pleasure to address the Scottish Grocers' Federation here in Kirkcaldy this morning.
''Retail is going through an era of profound change.
''Technology is transforming how people shop; costs are increasing and growth in consumer spending is slow.
''This has particulary impacted on high-streets across Scotland, including here in Kirkcaldy which is experiencing a number of high-profile shop closures.
''The convenience store sector forms the backbone of our communities and I used the opportunity to recognise the huge contribution which they make to the Scottish Economy.
''We need to listen to the views of small businesses and independent traders as we formulate economic policies, and my party will continue to do all it can to put their views at the top of the agenda.''