Choose local, for the economy

Keith Ross with Neil Evans

Greens call for more support for local businesses to help deal with the after affects of recession

The Green Party today called for greater support for local businesses and producers, and less encouragement for large supermarkets such as Tesco.

Keith M Ross, Green Party Candidate for Swansea West said, “Wales has the highest unemployment rate of any region in the UK; and we have not yet seen the last of the fallout from the economic recession.

We need to take a close look at our local economies to find the way forward. As we’ve seen, global and multinational companies are the most likely to shed jobs within Wales when times get hard. And it will be a natural consequence of their experience over the last two years that they will be slow to reinvest as things improve; preferring to a wait and see until recovery is certain.

Small businesses are more flexible and can react faster to changing economic conditions. And they come with the added benefit that most of their profits remain within the local economy as a much-needed boost to other local businesses.”

In a book called Tescopoly by Andrew Simms, of the think tank the NEF, he quips. ‘ the idea of community seems to be turning into an item for display in a museum, a large part of the blame must lie at the foot of unmanaged market forces.’

Swansea has recently been dubbed a ‘Tesco Town’; so called because more than 50p out of every £1 spent on groceries in Swansea is spent in Tesco’s.

Research has shown that for every £1 spent at a large supermarket, 90p leaves the area; whereas every £1 spent with a local supplier is worth £1.76 to the local economy.

Greens have long been opposed to large corporations such as Tesco because of the damage they do to local economies.

Mr Ross continued, “The big issue is that money is being sucked out of our local economy. For all the profits that are made in Tesco, relatively little stays within the locality. And the bigger it gets, the more money will disappear from Swansea.

Across the UK, thousands of small local businesses have disappeared over the last ten years because they just can’t compete with the giant retailers like Tesco and the other major supermarkets.

Add to this the environmental impact of supermarkets in increased traffic through centralised supply chains and out of town locations, and something we take for granted as being good for our city begins to look altogether less inviting.

The Green Party aims to promote self reliance within communities and regions. Revival and support of the local economy is of the greatest importance for this. We need policies to enable more local needs to be met by local work using local resources.”


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Andy Spowart on March 31, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Looking forward to seeing you at Penclawdd Local Produce Market. Runs on the 3rd Saturday , monthly, 9.30 – 12.30.


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