Small Business Saturday, held on December 6, celebrated the vital role that all small businesses play in the economy and in local communities. MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, Stephen Crabb, hit the High Street in Haverfordwest to show his support for businesses in the county. He spoke to a number of retailers in the town about their businesses including Maggs, The Welsh Bakery, Victoria Bookshop, Just Nice, Coffee Cave and Musician’s World, an independent instrument and music shop on High Street.
During his time in the town centre, Stephen was also able to talk to business owners about the steps announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement which pledged more support to the small businesses community and high-street retailers.
Small businesses in England also received a shot in the arm with the announcement that business rate rises will be capped at two per cent next year, and business rate relief will be extended for another year. There will also be a £1,000 discount on business rates for small businesses.
Stephen has called on the Welsh Government, who has responsibility for business rates in Wales, to follow suit and provide similar help to shops and small businesses on high streets in Wales.
The Government also confirmed that new loans would be made available for start-ups, along with tax relief for investment in social enterprises, and a 50 per cent discount on business rates for the reoccupation of empty shop units.
Stephen has worked hard to champion the needs of drivers in our rural county by calling for the Treasury to take more action to help drivers with the cost of fuel. He welcomed the news that the planned fuel duty rise (of 2p a litre) which was due to come in next year will be scrapped and fuel duty will continue to be frozen at the current level. This will mean that by next year the price of petrol will be 20p per litre lower than had the duty increases planned by the previous Government gone ahead.
Stephen Crabb MP said: “The small business community in Pembrokeshire is vitally important. They are the backbone of our local economy. I’m pleased that the Autumn Statement has reflected the Government’s backing of small businesses by introducing some important business- friendly policies which I hope will make a real difference.”
“Unemployment levels have continued to fall in Pembrokeshire and it is our local businesses that have been helping to get people into work. I’m hopeful that the scrapping of NI contributions for younger people will boost the number of young people in work.”
“Small Business Saturday is a great way to remind people of the importance of shopping locally particularly at a time when they face tough competition online in the run up to Christmas. At the end of the day, people need to remember that when they support their local businesses, the money they spend and the jobs that are created as a result stay here in the community.”