4th December is Small Business Saturday!
There’s no escaping the fact that small and medium sized businesses are absolutely crucial to our economy. SME’s now account for over three fifths of private sector employment in the UK (16.3 million). The past 18 months have been incredibly difficult for many of these businesses. Small and Medium Sized businesses are not only key to our economy, but are the key to maintaining the thriving and diverse high streets in Cardiff Central that we all enjoy.
Behind each and every small and medium sized business is an individual, or a family. These businesses are often cornerstones of our communities; offering far more than the products or services they exist to sell. Nothing has brought this into sharper focus than the COVID-19 pandemic, with many SME’s stepping up to look after the vulnerable, and ensure they don’t have to go without.
There are plenty of ways you can support small and medium sized businesses today, and every day – either in person or online! You can follow and help to promote your favourite small business on social media, give them a great review, or of course shop with them in person or online.
We in Labour also understand how crucial SME’s are to our economy, at both local and national levels. We’ve committed to freezing Business Rates until the next revaluation, benefitting sectors like retail and hospitality who have been hit the hardest by this tax; and to increase the threshold for small business rates relief (from the current threshold of £15,000 to £25,000), to give SMEs a discount on their business rates bill for 2022/23.
We’ve also gone further by pledging to scrap the business rates system entirely in the first term of a Labour government, replacing it with a new system of business taxation fit for the 21st century by shifting the burden of business taxes to create a level playing field between high street businesses and online giants.
Here in Wales, Welsh Labour has stood by our businesses and workers throughout this pandemic, protecting jobs, lives and livelihoods, and in this new Senedd term we are continuing to build the stronger, fairer, greener economy of tomorrow – an economy fit for future generations.
During the pandemic our Welsh Labour Government has made unprecedented levels of funding available through the likes of the Economic Resilience Fund to support Welsh businesses of all sizes during what has been a harrowing time for our economy, thus providing the most generous economic help for business anywhere in the UK – worth over £2.5bn to date, and protecting more than 165,000 Welsh jobs that may otherwise have been lost.
This week, we had the fantastic news that the Welsh economy is recovering faster than any other part of the UK.