Small busi­nesses are the back­bone of our econ­omy

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

ONCE again the small shops in the Che­sham and Amer­sham con­stituency have been pro­mot­ing the ex­cel­lent ser­vice they give as part of the Small Business Satur­day event. Lit­tle Chal­font was just one of the places where shop­keep­ers took part. All across the coun­try, there have been events to re­mind ev­ery­one what we are very aware of lo­cally – that th­ese small en­ter­prises play an enor­mous role in en­sur­ing the vi­tal­ity of the econ­omy.

Did you know that small busi­nesses make up 99 per cent of all busi­nesses in the UK? That shows just how im­por­tant they are. Sup­port­ing them can make all the dif­fer­ence to our tra­di­tional high streets. They also make a huge con­tri­bu­tion to em­ploy­ment, be­cause na­tion­wide about 15 mil­lion peo­ple are em­ployed in small busi­nesses.

In the run-up to Small Business Satur­day, I vis­ited lo­cal shop­keeper Carol Mor­ris, who has run her hard­ware store in Hill Av­enue, Amer­sham, for 30 years. Carol started off her business, which is open 365 days a year, with the help of a business de­vel­op­ment grant. She has never looked back and her business epit­o­mises the way that small busi­nesses are the back­bone of our econ­omy.

I was pleased that, in the au­tumn state­ment in the first week of De­cem­ber, the chan­cel­lor of the ex­che­quer recog­nised the im­por­tance of small busi­nesses when in­creas­ing the small business rate re­lief to £1,500 in April 2015.

The re­cent de­bate about Small Business Satur­day in West­min­ster Hall re­vealed some in­ter­est­ing re­search. First, for ev­ery £1 spent in a lo­cal in­de­pen­dent business, 60 pence goes straight back into our lo­cal econ­omy. Sec­ond, peo­ple who live near small shops are 16 per cent more likely to be pos­i­tive about the lo­cal high street than those who live in ar­eas which lack in­de­pen­dent stores. Third, peo­ple who live in ar­eas with a high pro­por­tion of in­de­pen­dent small shops are twice as likely to say hello to other peo­ple on their high street.

Sup­port­ing lo­cal high streets and in­de­pen­dent busi­nesses can bring about hugely pos­i­tive re­sults.

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