ACS Calls on Welsh Government to Support Local Shops on Cost of Business Crisis

ACS has called on the Welsh Government to support local shops in Wales by helping them to invest in energy efficiency measures, recognising the status of employment in convenience stores, and taking action to ensure that stores can get the deliveries that they need.

At an evidence session taking place as part of the Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee held today (26th May) in the Welsh Parliament, ACS has highlighted the measures that the Welsh Government can take to support small businesses during the cost of living crisis and wider recovery from the pandemic.

Speaking during the evidence session, ACS Communications Director Chris Noice said: “Convenience stores in Wales are facing significant pressures at the moment from increased energy costs, challenges with the cost and frequency of deliveries into stores, difficulties with hiring new colleagues, and rising wholesale prices. These retailers can only hold off on passing additional costs on to customers for so long before they have no other option, so it’s essential that the Welsh Government acts to support local shops through targeted interventions that will allow them to reduce the cost of doing business, and in turn avoid further price hikes for customers.

“We’re urging the Welsh Government to look at ways to support local shops by acting to mitigate the cost of their energy bills, ensuring that the looming return of business rates bills next year does not have a significant negative impact, and finding ways to incentivise businesses that provide sustainable, local, flexible and secure jobs like those provided in convenience stores. We’re also keen to ensure that the Welsh Government looks in detail at the cost implications on retailers of upcoming legislation, like the introduction of a deposit return scheme coming in 2024.”

Figures from the 2022 Welsh Local Shop Report show that Wales’ 2,975 convenience stores provided over 25,000 local jobs and generated around £2.7bn in sales in the last year. Welsh convenience stores are also some of the most active in their communities in the UK, with 90% of retailers taking part in some form of community activity (raising money, supporting local events etc) over the last year, according to figures from the February 2022 wave of the ACS Voice of Local Shops survey.

The evidence session also heard from Leighton Jenkins, Assistant Director at CBI Wales and Dr Llŷr ap Gareth, Senior Policy Adviser at the Federation of Small Businesses.

The full evidence session is available to watch on demand here:

This entry was posted by Chris on Thu, 26/05/2022 - 15:06