In the last Budget the government proposed local councils to permit all-day Sunday opening by larger stores.

Graham Buck, regional chairman of the Bedfordshire, Hertfordshre and Cambridgeshire branch if the Federation of Small Businesses, said:  “Members tell us that the current Sunday trading regime provides much-needed support for smaller retailers within their communities and while the government is not planning to remove this protection, it will devolve the decision-making powers on this to local authorities.   

“We will be talking to all the local authorities in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire to  ensure that local politicians  are aware of the concerns of our local retailers.”

Locally the FSB will be  asking local councils, to consider what other support local businesses need and to then launch it as a package, such as:

  • Introducing discretionary rate relief
  • Creating a local traffic plan that encourages short-term parking near to local shops on the high street
  • Opening-up local council procurement to small firms
  • Stepping up local skills programmes to ensure the local population has the right skills that its businesses need

The FSB is also asking local councils to consult with the local business community to find out their views before agreeing to allow all-day opening by larger stores.

Mr Buck said:  “It is critical that these local decision makers include small businesses in the debate.

"Local businesses are at the heart of our communities and the ones most likely to feel the direct impact of these proposals. Their concerns should be listened to before any decision is made.” 

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