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Small Business Saturday

Simon Lightwood, MP for Wakefield, has said that Labour is on the side of small businesses and supporting our high streets, while setting out Labour’s policies during the tenth anniversary of Small Business Saturday in Wakefield.

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, SMEs make up 99% of the business population in the UK and create 16 million jobs. Now in its tenth year, Small Business Saturday celebrates this success and encourages consumers to 'shop local' and to support businesses in their communities.

Mr Lightwood highlighted the difficulties faced by small businesses with business rates, a crashed economy, soaring energy costs and supply chain issues, and how local employers as are crucial to the local community and Wakefield’s high streets.

Labour has recognised the support that small businesses need not only to survive but to thrive. This is why the party has pledged to cut and eventually entirely scrap business rates, replacing them with a new form of business taxation fit for the 21st Century.

Mr Lightwood said that Labour will make online giants pay their fair share and introduce annual revaluations of business rates, with savings passed on immediately to small businesses. This would support small businesses rebuilding from the crashed economy, and level the playing field between online giants and bricks and mortar businesses.

Support for the self-employed was also highlighted by Mr Lightwood as a crucial part of Labour’s pro-worker, pro-business agenda. Labour will extend the protections for self-employed workers including the right to sick pay.

Simon Lightwood MP said:

“It was an absolute privilege to visit some of Wakefield’s inspirational small business owners in the lead up to Small Business Saturday. Small businesses do so much to enrich our lives and our community in Wakefield, providing jobs, training and driving economic growth.

“I know that businesses have faced massive adversity and hardship over the last few years and beyond, and now face further challenges like unfair business rates, supply chain issues and soaring energy costs.

“Labour understands the support that small businesses in Wakefield need, and this is why Labour will make online giants pay their fair share and introduce an annual business rates revaluation, with savings passed on to small businesses immediately.

“We will carry out the biggest overhaul of business taxation in a generation, supporting our small businesses which are a critical part of our economy and communities, while balancing the playing field between bricks and mortar businesses and online giants.

“We will support the self-employed by extending protections including the right to sick pay.

“Local businesses in Wakefield want a reliable partner in government that will listen to their concerns and take real, practical steps to help them thrive. Labour has a plan that will make a real difference for business owners looking to get on, both immediately and in the long-term.”


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