Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate meets Small Business Owners to encourage Harlow Residents to shop locally
LABOUR’S Parliamentary Candidate, Laura McAlpine encourages people to shop locally at the fantastic independent shops and small businesses that Harlow and the surrounding villages have to offer.
Laura said: “Small business Saturday is a great campaign to encourage us to shop local’ and support small businesses in our communities.
In Britain, 51,000 high street businesses closed in the last year. Nearly a decade of Tory austerity and industrial neglect, has had a dire effect on our highstreets. Unfortunately, many small businesses in Harlow have suffered.
“We need to look at our archaic retail system – high business rates and rents are forcing high street shops up and down the country to close. We need to push for subsidised rates for small businesses and a clamp down on landlords sitting on buildings for capital gain. If stores like M&S and BHS can’t survive, then how can we expect our small businesses to? But it isn’t just about the high street. There are lots of small businesses away from the high street that also need support.
Matthew and Daniel Vailaitis, owners of the Playroom Music Studio said: “As a recording and teaching studio we have been open for a year, in that time we have had amazing feedback and recurring business which validates the work that we do.
Something that would significantly help our business is more support and exposure, a platform where local businesses are highlighted and made visible to the community so that we are able to reach the musicians, students and parents of students, who are looking locally for a place to develop and capture their talents.”
Danielle, designer and maker at LINT Designs of Hastingwood Business Centre said: “I source all of my materials from the UK. It’s cheaper to buy from overseas, but I want to ensure that the people I work with are being paid properly. The leather I use to create my designs comes from one of the oldest tanneries in Britain.
The government needs to support and invest in Britain’s manufacturing community. Lower rents, small business grants and financial advice would help local manufacturing thrive.”
Bill Esterton, Shadow Minister for Small Business said: “Tory cuts have hit towns and communities hard over the last eight years.
“High streets are increasingly blighted by boarded-up shops. We need action on business rates, parking and much more to help retailers and to support people working and shopping on our high streets. We need a Labour government that will invest to put the heart back into our communities.”
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