Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Needham Market, implores us to support local enterprises
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Our high streets in Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket, Needham Market and our surrounding villages are home to a plethora of fantastic independent businesses.
The impact that Covid-19 has had on our small businesses is varied, and we have all been humbled by the resilience, resolve and determination they have shown in innovating and adapting to the challenges of the pandemic.
This year’s Small Business Saturday was the perfect opportunity to celebrate our small businesses and continue to ensure the UK’s many businesses have the support and skills they need to drive the innovation, growth, and job creation we need as we move towards a sustainable and prosperous future.
To mark this special day, I visited small businesses across the constituency, including market traders, small shops, cafes, restaurants and an opticians. I popped into the Plant Hut, VC Indian Cuisine, Adnams, Scotts Opticians, Nethergate Brewery and Bethmonte Key Cutting & Shoe Repair in Bury and Lilac & Lily’s, Coffee, Craft & more and Langams coffee shop in Needham and Stowmarket. While visiting these businesses and doing a spot of Christmas shopping, we spoke about their priorities and plans for the future.
That is why Small Business Saturday is so important as it highlights businesses across the country and encourages people to support them in the lead up to Christmas and beyond. We must continue to use our local small businesses to ensure we maintain a diverse high street, as if we don’t use it, we may lose it.
The High Street has always been a cornerstone of our communities. They are places for people to socialise, access vital services and for businesses to thrive, even more so during this festive period! I fully support the work being done to support and improve our High Streets and local businesses, helping them to adapt and flourish for generations to come.
We need to make our High Streets ‘go-to’ destinations that people wish to visit for social or retail therapy.
People often tell me how fortunate we are to have amazing eateries and cafes across the constituency, that we can all enjoy, especially at this time of year during a well-earned break from our Christmas shopping!
To support small businesses all year round, the government is committed to providing the tools, skills and support that business owners need to make a full economic recovery and build back better from the pandemic, including a rates cut for business.
As the festive season draws close, I would urge you all to support local small businesses where you can when finishing your Christmas shopping.
We are lucky to have such a variety of choice locally in terms of businesses on our high streets. I would encourage all constituents to venture into small businesses on our high streets this festive season, as you may be surprised at some of the individual bespoke gifts you may not find at larger retail chains.
On the subject of Christmas, this will be my last article before the new year so I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
-- Jo Churchill is MP for Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Needham Market