Welsh Conservatives have called for a series of measures to boost small Welsh firms.
The calls come following Small Business Saturday, a campaign to highlight small business success and to encourage consumers to ‘shop local’.
Shadow Economy Secretary and Montgomeryshire Assembly Member – Russell George – wants the Welsh Government to take promised action on business rates, improve access to procurement contracts for Welsh SMEs, and to revitalise Welsh high streets by supporting local authorities to increase the provision of free parking spaces.
The six-point-plan has been tabled by Mr George as an Assembly ‘Statement of Opinion’ urging AMs of all parties to support calls for:
Six-point Strategy for Welsh SMEs
· Scrapping Business Rates for all small businesses in Wales;
· Ensuring better access to public sector procurement contracts for small Welsh firms;
· Accelerating the roll-out of superfast broadband to all parts of Wales;
· Funding the Development Bank of Wales to ensure that SMEs and Welsh entrepreneurs have the financial support they need to thrive;
· Boosting foot fall on the Welsh High Street by introducing more free parking;
· Targeting training to ensure the Welsh workforce is equipped with the skills needed to enable Welsh SMEs to thrive.
Shadow Economy Secretary, Russell George, said: “Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to champion the key role played by small firms, and that’s why we are calling on the Welsh Government to take steps to support them.
“We want to see business rates scrapped for all small Welsh SMEs, and meaningful action from the Cabinet Secretary to help more of them to access public sector procurement contracts.
“Our six point plan also on the Welsh Government to redouble its efforts to revitalise the Welsh high street by supporting local authorities which increase the provision of free parking spaces.
“Small Business Saturday should be about celebration, but we also need to reflect on the current climate for small Welsh firms and focus on the issues which prevent them from reaching their full potential.
“I hope that Assembly Members of all parties will back these measures.
“The Welsh Government has to play its part, clearly, but we can all do our bit to support small firms by shopping locally this weekend”.
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, said: “As the Party of small businesses, Welsh Conservatives have long highlighted the key role they play in the Welsh economy and that’s why we continue to press the Welsh Labour Government to take steps to better support them.
“Small and medium sized businesses make up 99% of all Welsh firms and if every one were to take on a single additional employee, unemployment in Wales could be wiped out overnight.”
The National Assembly for Wales supports the contribution made to the Welsh economy by small and medium sized enterprises, and calls on the Welsh Government to:
· Scrap Business Rates for all small businesses in Wales;
· Ensure better access to public sector procurement contracts for small Welsh firms;
· Accelerate the roll-out of superfast broadband to all parts of Wales;
· Fund the Development Bank of Wales to ensure that SMEs and Welsh entrepreneurs have the financial support they need to thrive;
· Boost foot fall on the Welsh High Street by introducing more free parking;
· Target training to ensure the Welsh workforce is equipped with the skills needed to enable Welsh SMEs to thrive.
See full story in the County Times