I joined the Small Business Saturday tour by visiting Southampton’s small businesses with their local MP Alan Whitehead. We discussed the costs that businesses are facing as they start to recover from the pandemic, the important role that small businesses play in our communities in terms of creating jobs and growth, along with the support that they would like to see from Government t spark their recovery.
Labour recognises that small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and that they need support to survive and thrive. One of the ways that Labour would support small businesses is through reforming business rates to restore our high streets and to level the playing field between bricks and mortar businesses and online giants.
According to the Federation of Small Businesses, SMEs make up 99% of the business population in the UK, with over 8,000 SME businesses across the city of Southampton. Small Business Saturday – which returns on 4 December – celebrates small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and to support businesses in their communities. This year it is calling on the nation to share a ‘big thank you’ with small firms to recognise their vital role throughout the pandemic. Recent analysis by Labour using the ONS Business Impacts Survey suggesting that over 450 businesses in Southampton are at risk of closure.