Local trade pleas sent to Downing StBy Paul Robins
August 03, 2009
The campaign to save small independent shops has been taken to Downing Street.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has handed over its national Keep Trade Local petition to the Government.
The petition of 55,000 signatures urges people to shop at independent retailers to safeguard them from the march of the high street chain.
It also calls for a review of unfair planning laws, high business rates and parking restrictions which discriminate in favour of the superstores.
According to the FSB, more than 2,000 local shops are closing each year, and if this trend continues, the organisation believes there will be no independent stores left by 2015.
In Reading, the Post and getreading spearheaded the initiative by encouraging traders to display posters in their shop windows and calling on locals to use the stores on their doorstep.
Brian Eastman, chairman of Reading & West Berkshire FSB – which represents 1,400 small businesses – said: “Keep Trade Local has been a great success, especially here in Berkshire.
“The 55,000 signatures prove that the country cares about the future of our small shops.
“The petition may have come to a close, but that does not mean small businesses do not need our help.
“The onus is now on local government to ensure our small firms and high streets thrive.”