Local Assembly Member for Monmouth, Nick Ramsay, called for more support for small High Street businesses during his business statement contribution in the Assembly Chamber on 3rd December.
Speaking in the Chamber Nick said: “Minister, as I'm sure you're aware, this Saturday coming is Welsh Small Business Saturday. A great opportunity for all of us, as Assembly Members, to support local homegrown businesses, both in the high street and elsewhere. Last week in this Chamber, the First Minister made the important point that the high street of the past cannot simply be resurrected, no matter how much we sometimes might like that, but the future will lie in a combination, a fusion, of the physical high street and online sales.
“When I was Chair of the Enterprise and Business Committee, back in 2014 I think it was, we reported about how the high street could be improved and we suggested this approach. So, five years, six years have gone under the bridge since then, and I wonder if we could have an update from the Welsh Government on how we might achieve that more modern, more sustainable high street with a rebalancing of business rates so that businesses, whether online or in the physical high street, can better compete and survive.”
Rebecca Evans AM responded:” I'm certainly looking forward to celebrating Small Business Saturday, as I'm sure many other colleagues are as well in the run-up to Christmas, and obviously I'm sure that we'll take every opportunity we can to support and promote those independent traders that we have within each of our constituencies across Wales, and the vibrancy that they bring to our high streets.
“The Minister with responsibility for regeneration is here, and she will have heard your request in terms of an update as to how Welsh Government is supporting high streets, especially in terms of addressing the need to create the high street of the future, which, as the First Minister said, will look very different to that of the past. Welsh Government has been doing some really interesting work with the Carnegie Trust, which has been looking at what the future of Welsh high streets might look like, and I'd be happy to share a link to that work with colleagues because I'm sure it would be of interest to Members across the Chamber.”