The Cross Party Group on Small Shops has launched a new inquiry in the Welsh Assembly today, looking at the essential contribution that entrepreneurs play in the economy and what can be done to help these businesses secure their long term futures.
The Inquiry will look at the following themes:
- Supporting local places, including looking closely at the challenges faced by both high street and rural businesses
- Supporting business growth through developing skills and securing funding
- Support from Government, including measures that could be taken to lessen the burden of business rates and ways to help retailers deal with and prevent crime in their business
CPG Chair Janet Finch Saunders AM said: “The contribution of small shops to the Welsh economy is immense – together with our other SMEs, small shops help to make up 99.9% of private sector business in Wales, so it’s essential that the Welsh Government supports them using the variety of tools at their disposal. This Inquiry will play an important role in investigating the ways in which the Welsh Government can support small shops and help them to thrive in the future.”
The Inquiry will invite written evidence from interested parties and host a small number of oral evidence sessions in the National Assembly for Wales, drawing on a range of stakeholders from private business, business representative organisations, industry experts, academics and the charitable sector.
At the launch of the Inquiry, the Group also released new guidance for local partnerships on supporting growth on Welsh high streets. The guidance looks at the key ‘policy levers’ of business rates, planning and partnership working as ways that local partnerships can support high street shops.
The Cross Party Group on Small Shops is chaired by Janet Finch Saunders AM and represents the interests of small shops in the National Assembly for Wales. Members of the Cross Party Group on Small Shops include the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), the Federation of Small Business Wales (FSB Wales), the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN).