Having attended the virtual launch yesterday, the Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has welcomed the publication of a report by the Association of Convenience Stores which found that 83% of independent retailers in Wales engaged in some form of community activity in the past year.
According to The Welsh Local Shop Report 2022, there are almost 3,000 convenience stores in Wales, providing essential groceries and services to their customers, employing over 25,000 people with local, flexible jobs, and making a positive difference in their communities.
Mrs Finch-Saunders – a respected businessperson who initiated the Cross-Party Group on Small Shops during the Fourth Assembly – has reiterated her support of new start-ups and established SMEs by committing to continue her work to ensure that local entrepreneurs do not have any unnecessary costs holding them back.
Commenting on the report, Janet said:
“I wholeheartedly endorse the outstanding findings of the Welsh Local Shop Report which rightly celebrates the community benefit that these SMEs have throughout Wales. With the average customer in Wales visiting their local store between two and three times per week, it is crucial that we continue to support these largely family run enterprises.
“From farm shops to butchers, vegetable stalls to corner shops; Aberconwy is blessed to have a brilliant and vibrant mix of such convenience businesses. Together, we must continue to use the power of our hard earned pounds to buy local, supporting regional jobs and safeguarding the supply chains.
“I will continue to use all levers at my disposal to support these businesses. This means utilising business rates reductions as a tool to incentivise investment. In my role as the Shadow Minister for Climate Change, I will also work to ensure that any forthcoming deposit return scheme will align with other UK nations and be cost neutral for our local retailers.”
Primary data for the Local Shop Report was undertaken by ACS in the form of two surveys: Independent Retailer Survey (sampling 2,420 independently owned convenience store businesses in the UK) and the Multiple Retailer Survey (an ACS conducted an online/paper survey with a a sample of 6,200 stores.)
Photo: Janet Finch-Saunders MS/AS