‘Give local firms your Christmas business’
Stirling politicians are urging shoppers to buy local in the runup to Christmas.
As part of Small Business Saturday, MPs and MSPs of all parties visited shops in Stirling to promote small businesses in the area.
The annual event, organised by the Federation of Small Businesses, is part of a grassroots campaign to highlight the success of small businesses and encourage shoppers to buy local.
MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife Dean Lockart visited, among others, Our Place Café, Number Eight fashion store and Strathcarron Hospice charity shop in the city centre.
He used the event to tout the Scottish Conservatives’ new small business strategy which they claim will help to ‘incentivise’ businesses to stay in their areas.
The ‘Save Our High Streets’ campaign advocates lower business rates, supporting business improvement districts and loosening planning regulations for the high street.
Mr Lockhart said: “Vibrant Scottish high streets are crucial for communities and for businesses all across Scotland.”
He added: “Retailers on the high street in Stirling and around the country are continuing to struggle whilst the SNP has done nothing. Frankly the complacency which we have seen from the local SNP here in Stirling to the genuine concerns of business owners is shameful.”
FSB figures show 4250 registered businesses in Stirling, with almost nine in ten of those having fewer than 50 employees. Those firms employ almost 15,000 people, and have an annual turnover of £1,253 million.
MP for Stirling Bruce Crawford also toured the high street on Saturday, promoting the successes of businesses in the city centre.
He visited Hamilton’s Cheesecakes, Europa Music, Loving Food restaurant, and Mint Patisserie.
Mr Crawford spoke of the Scottish Government’s efforts to support small businesses: “A change in the way we shop, with a move to online purchasing of goods and takeaway food, has brought about real challenges for our high street.
“The Scottish Government is doing what it can by lifting as many small businesses as possible out of paying rates.
“This has meant that over 2,500 businesses in the Stirling area pay no rates whatsoever.”
“However, people in the area can do their bit by supporting these businesses. This Christmas, support high street businesses and do at least some of your seasonal shopping in a local store.”
Highlighting high street Dean Lockhart with members of Strathcarron Hospice staff
Business boost Bruce Crawford with Sally McConnell, assistant manager of Loving Food