Thursday, 17 April 2008

Green candidates back Small Businesses

Green candidates in the North East are backing the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in their ‘Petition to No 10’ asking the Prime Minister to back local shops against the multinational supermarkets.

Geoff Potts, Green candidate for Lesbury, Northumberland – who is also a member of the FSB said:
“Two thousand local shops are closing every year. At this rate, by 2015 there will be no more independent retailers in the UK. Nationally, the average person travels 893 miles a year to shop for food. And the situation is worse in Northumberland, where villages are losing facilities and there is scarcely any public transport.”

Pam Woolner, Green candidate for Prudhoe West added:

“Small businesses put more of their profits back into the local community than the big corporates - but too often they get muscled out by the giant supermarkets and chainstores, leaving us with identical high streets up and down the country.”

“It’s happening in Berwick, Alnwick and Hexham, and could soon happen in Morpeth with the expansion of Morrisons and the possible arrival of Sainsbury's”.

And it isn’t just local shops, as Cllr Nic Best, Green candidate for Morpeth North says:

“Northumberland County Council know the value of investing in local businesses. Their ‘LM3’ work with the New Economics Foundation showed that money spent with local businesses is worth three times as much to the local economy as money spent with a multinational.

“So – if the new unitary authority must outsource services – then it should be looking to place contracts with local firms rather than relocating the jobs to Cambridgeshire or Northants.”

Nationally, Greens are lobbying to change planning laws to help our unique and irreplaceable local businesses to compete against the multinationals. Just as is dome for affordable housing, we want to see all new large business developments have to provide at least 50% of the total trading space as affordable premises for small enterprises.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is the largest business organisation in the UK. It represents over 210,000 businesses that collectively employ over 2.5 million people. Small businesses in the UK employ 58% of the UK's private sector workforce.Together they contribute half of UK GDP and employ more than 12 million.

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