Local MP Craig Tracey questioned Ministers in the Treasury today on support being given by the Government to small businesses and in particular local independent retail shops.
The video of the Question time can be found here: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/3c0c9dc5-da47-4439-8065-3a2f2aac9433?in=11:35:44&out=11:36:56
The Transcript is below:
Craig Tracey MP Question 2: 'What support the Government are providing to small businesses?'
The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Jane Ellison): 'The Government absolutely recognise the key role that small businesses play in the economy, which is why, for example, at the autumn statement we announced an additional £400 million for the British Business Bank to help growing firms to access finance. Of course, we have taken a number of other steps, including introducing the seed enterprise investment scheme.'
Craig Tracey MP: 'Does the Financial Secretary agree that independent retail stores, such as Chalk & Linen in my constituency, add greatly to the character and vitality of our towns and high streets, and that the Government should do all they can to support them?'
The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Jane Ellison): 'As a former co-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on retail, I could not agree more that independent retail, and retail generally, is a vital sector. My hon. Friend is right that we want to support independent retailers on our high streets, which is why, from April, 600,000 of the smallest businesses—occupiers of a third of all properties—will not have to pay business rates as part of the £6.7 billion business rates package that will kick in over the next few years. I hope that he agrees that that is a helpful bit of support for key local businesses.'