Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Dean Lockhart has backed Small Business Saturday which encourages people to support their local small businesses and shop locally.
Dean showed his support for the initiative, run by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), by visiting Frances and Hunter Hair and Beauty, Our Place Café, Ciscos Café, Number Eight fashion store and Strathcarron Hospice charity shop in Stirling city centre.
Small Business Saturday is now in its sixth year in the UK and in 2017 an estimated £748million was spent with small businesses on the first Saturday of December.
Official figures show that there are 4250 registered businesses in Stirling and almost nine in ten (88.8%) of them are small businesses, with fewer than 50 employees. These firms employ 14,630 people and turn over more than £1,253 million annually.
Mr Lockhart also used the opportunity of Small Business Saturday to launch a Scottish Conservative plan to support Scotland’s high streets, including Stirling, to become flexible, welcoming spaces, able to provide a range of experiences and opportunities for our communities.
The measures would incentivise businesses to stay and grow in the local area, support businesses across Scotland by reducing business rates and give local councils and businesses more opportunity to regenerate town centres creatively.
The Save Our High Streets campaign calls on the Scottish Government to –
- Cut business rates
- Permanently change business poundage to CPI
- Restore parity on the large business rates supplement
- Support Business Improvement Districts
- Free up planning restrictions on high streets
Dean Lockhart MSP said:
‘’I wholeheartedly support Small Business Saturday and commend the FSB on driving forward the campaign to highlight some of the wonderful small businesses on our high streets and elsewhere.
“With Christmas just around the corner, people should use Small Business Saturday to get out and support the local high street.
“Vibrant Scottish high streets are crucial for communities and for businesses all across Scotland.
‘’However, retailers on the high street in Stirling and around the country are continuing to struggle whilst the SNP has done nothing.
‘’Frankly the complacency which we have seen from the local SNP here in Stirling to the genuine concerns of business owners is shameful.
‘’I stand ready to do all I can to find constructive solutions and these announcements today would better support our high-streets to not just survive, but to thrive
“The Scottish Conservatives are in full support of our high streets and will work together with Stirling Council to ensure that they meet the challenges of the future head on.’'