Great British High Street Week will help us support local businesses

Small local businesses are the backbone of our economy both locally and nationally. They provide the bespoke services that the much larger corporations simply are unable to offer. 

However, they still need to compete with these big companies and as such need to offer the same payment plans, which in some industries, means being paid after the work has been carried out. Unlike the big companies, our small local businesses do not have the resources to chase late payments, which takes times and money. This restricts their growth, stopping them from achieving their full potential.

Which is why I am pleased the Government has established a Small Business Commissioner who will assign a caseworker to help businesses with less than 50 employees pursue their late payments. This service is free and completely impartial and will play a vital part in ensuring that our local businesses thrive. In order to raise a complaint with the Commissioner please email

There is still a lot that as a community we need to do to help our local businesses which is why I am now establishing the Friday Lunch Challenge.

The challenge is simple, every Friday instead of eating your packed lunch or quickly popping into the supermarket to buy a pre-made sandwich, seek out a local business that you have never been to before and have your lunch there.

Of course, we should also celebrate the success of our local businesses and our shopping areas. Which is why I will be supporting the first ever Great British High Street Week, starting on July 16, which aims to shine a light on the good things happening along all the High Streets across the country and the local businesses that help make them a special place. I hope you will join me in supporting our local high streets.