Last week I was pleased to welcome Edwina Hart AM, Welsh Government Minister for Science, Economy and Transport, to Cardiff Central. We visited a great local business, Penylan Pantry, and chatted with owners Mel and Jo about setting up their business, and the challenges small businesses are currently facing.
Mel and Jo set up Penylan Pantry just over a year ago. They talked to the Minister about the help they'd used from the Welsh Labour Government's Business Wales scheme, including the advice of a business mentor.
Penylan Pantry employs eight people. Mel and Jo told me they have been able to employ their eighth staff member because of the Welsh Labour Government's actions on business rates so far this year. Their business is doing well, employing people locally (most staff walk or cycle to work) and has plans for the future.
Mel and Jo sell as much locally-sourced produce as they can, and they're really passionate about getting people to think about how many 'food miles' their meal has travelled. We talked about some ideas they are working on with other local businesses to help promote local produce and develop a culture where healthy, sustainable food is valued.
This morning Edwina Hart AM has announced that the business rates relief scheme will be continuing for 2015-16, with an increase in the amount of relief available, so businesses like Penylan Pantry will be able to continue growing and creating jobs. Read the full story on WalesOnline.
As an employer, I know how important it is that we value and support business owners, and allow them to be creative, support communities and create jobs. Here in Cardiff Central there are hundreds of small businesses that keep our local economy thriving and as the MP for Cardiff Central I would make sure we support our local business owners to grow and continue to create the jobs our community needs.
Do you run a business? Would you like to find out more about Labour's plans for small businesses? Click here to email me.