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‘Give small business a break to secure their futures’ – Stella Creasy MP, Shadow business minister, meets with Gloucester’s business community

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Stella Creasy MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Minister was in Gloucester on Friday to meet with representatives from Gloucester’s business community and talk about what is needed here in the city to attract new investment.

Stella Creasy MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Minister was in Gloucester on Friday to meet with representatives from Gloucester’s business community and talk about what is needed here in the city to attract new investment.

On December 7th Gloucester welcomed Small Business Saturday, an initiative brought to the UK by Chuka Umunna MP and given cross party support as a celebration of the diverse small business that makes up the nation’s high streets. Here in Gloucester, the day was welcomed by business owners and shoppers alike with owners reporting a busy day in the town centre.

Stella Creasy wants all political parties to build on the success of Small Business Saturday by recognising the value of a bustling high street and introducing measures to support small business in our regions.

Speaking after her visit to Gloucester Stella Creasy MP, Shadow Business Minister said: 

“One of the main concerns that business owners up and down the country have is the rise in business rates – and Gloucester is no different. Rates here have risen by an average of £1500 since 2010 and with a further £430 hike expected next year, Gloucester’s business owners are feeling the pinch.

“In this economic climate Labour’s plan to cut rates for small business in 2015 and then freeze them for the year after, coupled with clearer finance available through regional banks, offers real support to these firms.

“I was proud to support Small Business Saturday in my local community in Walthamstow and it was great to hear of its success here in Gloucester after the great campaign by Chuka Umunna to promote it in this country . 

“This Government have followed our lead on supporting Small Business Saturday and reforming the payday loan market to protect consumers – we are calling on them to follow Labour’s lead again and give small businesses a break so they can thrive.”

Sophy Gardner, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Gloucester added:

 ‘We’ve had good news here in Gloucester recently with the opening of a new TSB, bringing with it over 100 jobs, but at the same time we are seeing smaller independent business closing such as two cafes on Westgate street.

“I want to make sure Gloucester is an attractive place to come and open up shop, and that it appeals to a broad range of business. Our pledge to cut business rates in 2015 and freeze them in 2016 is the sort of measure that will go towards doing just that.

 “Gloucester is a fantastic place to live and work but businesses are struggling.  As well as business rates, the rising cost of energy is affecting businesses just as much as it affects Gloucester residents. Support is needed which is why locally we are campaigning for free parking after 3pm to encourage people to use the city centre businesses.”

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