Greens plan to rejuvenate the high street

The Green Party claims its plans for small business will revitalise our high streets and break the stranglehold of chain stores and large supermarkets.

Keith M Ross, Green Party Candidate for Swansea West, said, “Small and local independent shops are closing at a rate of 2000 a year including pubs, newsagents, post offices, grocers and banks. This creates a desert where thriving local businesses once served a local community.

“Chain stores and large supermarkets are owned by remote shareholders and are less likely to see the profits stay within the community. They are also more likely to shut up shop and move elsewhere if economic conditions dont suit them. In these large, multi-national organisations there is no commitment to local communities; they are driven entirely by the profit motive.

“The Green Party approach to this is to focus on small-scale, localised and community owned enterprise such as farmers markets, where producers can sell direct to consumers in their local area. Its more sustainable and environmentally friendly.”

Key policies in the Green Party General Election Manifesto are to:

– Amend planning laws to allow appropriate small businesses to operate in residential areas and ensure all large new retail developments include spaces for small local businesses.
– Help small businesses cope with regulation and provide tailored advice on energy efficiency.
– Introduce a network of local community banks, which will provide, among other things, a new source of finance for small businesses.
– Revitalise the Post Office network, in particular to help small businesses.
– Provide special help for small rural businesses.
– Introduce legislation to penalise late payment.
– Reduce corporation tax for small firms to 20% and raise it to 30% for the main rate.
– Make it illegal for a contract with a self-employed person to imply a pay rate below the national minimum wage.

Keith Ross continued, “Not only do we have policies for small local businesses but we have policies to reopen the post offices and encourage a new, local and mutual financial sector, based on trust rather than greed, and including community banks, credit unions, local exchange schemes and local currencies.

“We would support local shops through planning policies including business conservation areas, ensuring basic shops are available within walking distance in all urban areas and restricting the power of supermarkets.”

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