Shop small and support our local economy

This week has been another great week talking to constituents and businesses about the issues that are affecting you every day. This week on top of my regular surgery, which this time was held at the Shoeburyness Asda, I also visited the Southend Magistrate Court to see the excellent work they do their in ensuring the rule of law.

 I met with the Foundation of Small Businesses to discuss the issues that affect them every day ranging from late payments to rent along the High Street. I was pleased to inform them that under the last budget announced by the Chancellor last week their business rates will drop by a third. Welcome news to these small independent businesses.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy both in Southend and the United Kingdom as a whole. Not only do they offer a more bespoke service but they also employ locally and buy local produce. As Christmas draws ever closer small retailers are hoping to do a roaring trade. But for many the Christmas shop can prove to be difficult. For people with a disability that affects their mobility the accessibility of the High Street or other retailers can create obstacles. It is for this reason that I support Purple Tuesday a nationwide campaign happening on Tuesday 13th November. The aim is to enable and encourage retailers across the country, and online to introduce new measures to make the shopping experience more inclusive and accessible for disabled customers. The initiative is being co-ordinated by the disability organisation Purple and has been endorsed by the government.

It is important that as a community we shop small. So as Christmas comes ever nearer don’t forget to pop into your local stores in many of our local shopping areas helping our local economy in the process.

Once again, should you or anyone you know have any questions or concerns that I as your Local member of Parliament please do not hesitate to contact me either by calling my constituency office based in Victoria Avenue on 01702 616135, or by emailing me directly at james@jamesduddridge.com.