Swindon Greens call for small business help

By Barrie Hudson - 1 December 2023


Swindon Area Green Party is calling on the Government to offer a Small Business Saturday support package to help local firms thrive in their green transition.

St Andrews Parish Council member Bradley Williams said: “I visit independent businesses and social enterprises all around Swindon, and so many tell me that they want to make a success of becoming more sustainable. 
"It’s great to see already the community is coming together to support such businesses, through events like community markets.
“But they need Government to get behind them and offer the right support.
“We need a competitively fair transition to net zero that helps rather than hinders the small and independent businesses that bring so much benefit to our local community."
Andy Bentley, the Greens' parliamentary candidate for North Swindon, said: “The Green Party’s alternative Autumn Statement identified £30bn that could be raised by making the super-rich pay a little more tax. 
"Just £3 billion of that could be used to double funding for Green Transition Grants – to help small businesses prepare for and make the most of the opportunities of greening the economy."
South Swindon Green Party Parliamentary candidate Rod Hebden said: “From assisting small businesses to decarbonise their transport needs, to reforming VAT and suspending Covid repayments, there is much more the government should be doing."
Cllr Williams added: “Small and independent businesses and enterprises are the heart of our local community. The Green Party has long been the party of small business, and we want to see them thrive.”
The Green Party are calling for:
- An additional £3 billion in Green Transition Grants for small businesses to help them prepare for and take advantage of the opportunities offered by greening the economy
- Assistance for small businesses to decarbonise their transport needs - the party says independent traders and tradespeople need access to electric vans and other low carbon transport solutions on the same terms as large companies
- Support for small businesses to improve employee wellbeing - measures should include exempting all childcare providers in England from business rates
- Reform of VAT to support small businesses and suspension of covid repayments - the party says the Government must reform our VAT system so that it  differentially supports smaller shops and businesses compared to larger and online businesses, and that there should be an immediate suspension 
of covid loan repayments to provide much-needed relief for businesses.

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