TOMORROW is Small Business Saturday and there will be free parking in Bromsgrove District Council’s town centre car parks all day.
And with less than a week to go until the general election we thought we would ask Bromsgrove’s general election candidates what they would do to support small businesses in the district.
Conservative Sajid Javid said he was determined to make Bromsgrove district one of the best places in Britain to start and grow a business.
“I want to continue transforming Bromsgrove into a district of opportunity.
“The reason I decided to quit my job and stand to be your MP in the first place was that I felt passionately about ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background or circumstance, had the opportunity to go as far as their graft and talent would take them.
“That’s why I’m building a strong local economy by backing small businesses and the residents behind them – to make sure that every one of my residents have the chance to find a job they love, and to continue creating a place where entrepreneurs can build on their ideas, and find success.”
He added local businesses were important for creating new opportunities for local people, driving down unemployment and generating the taxes that our public services rely on for funding.
“Small and family businesses are the backbone of Britain’s economy.
“As Chancellor, I’m keeping costs down for Bromsgrove’s small businesses by reducing business rates and increasing their Employment Allowance.”
He heralded his Jobs Fair – the biggest in Bromsgrove – and the way it attracted new employers to our area to broaden the variety of jobs available.”
And he pointed out that according to BDO statistics, in 2018 Bromsgrove was home to 10,155 businesses – more than any other place in Worcestershire.
He added: “Since I was first elected in 2010, there has been almost a 40 per cent increase in the number of businesses in our local area – well above the national average.
“Because of this, unemployment has decreased by almost 20 per cent.
“I was delighted to discover that during this time Bromsgrove topped the list for highest number of start-ups outside of London, with 29 people for every 1,000 residents starting their own business.”
Liberal Democrat Dr David Nicholl would scrap business rates and replace them with a ‘landowner levy’ which would help breathe new life back into Bromsgrove High Street.
He said his party’s policy would take the cost from businesses and place it onto the landowner to support commercial ventures.
The Lib Dems say taxing landowners rather than businesses, 500,000 small businesses across the country would be spared the burden of property taxation.
“Many retailers and small businesses are under pressure from economic uncertainty, the rise of online retail and the burden of business rates.
There are no less than 16 empty shops on Bromsgrove High Street alone.
“For too long our High Street shops have been paying high rates of tax, whereas Amazon and the like get away with paying very little.
“Yet this Conservative Government is failing to get to grips with the crisis facing our high streets.
“Time and again they have promised reviews of business rates but have failed to take action.“
And Labour candidate Rory Shannon said his party would reform the business rate system to help small businesses and make sure the big Internet companies which were having a negative impact on the High Street paid their fair share of tax.
That, he added would give local small businesses, more of a level playing field when it came to gaining customers and offering its goods and services.
Labour would also look at every high street and town centre in the country as part of a mass review to see what kind of businesses would be suitable for each individual one.
“What the high streets need is new ideas and innovation.”
He added he was confident Labour’s approach would reinvigorate the town and city centres.