PLAID’S Leanne Wood has set out her plans to support small businesses in a meeting in Cardigan in support of ‘Small Business Saturday’, which takes place today.
Speaking at an informal question and answer session with local residents at the Fisherman’s Rest Café in the town, the Plaid Cymru leader set out her party’s plans to boost small businesses. This includes a focus on buying locally so that public bodies give more contracts to local companies, keeping money in the local economy and creating up to 50,000 extra jobs in Wales, a business rates relief scheme which would reduce costs for thousands of businesses in Wales, and helping small businesses access the finance they need by establishing a Welsh Business Bank.
The Party of Wales leader was in Cardigan as part of her ‘What Next for Wales’ tour, a nationwide series of meetings to present Plaid Cymru’s vision for the 2016 Welsh Elections, and to listen to people’s views.
Leanne Wood AM, Leader of Plaid Cymru, told The Herald: “Here in Cardigan, as in so many towns across Wales, there is more that can be done to ensure a thriving high street, and a prosperous future for small businesses in the area.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Wales’ economy. They make up 98% of all Welsh businesses. But the decline in footfall on our high streets proves that that the economic recovery is not reaching all parts of our communities.
“The competition posed by large multi-national companies and by internet trading makes it very difficult for small, local traders to compete, but a Plaid Cymru government would put forward a series of measures to support businesses and help them succeed.
“Small local firms generate 58% more economic benefit for local economies than large firms. The figures speak for themselves; it’s vital we support our small businesses.”
Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion, added: “I was delighted to welcome Leanne Wood to Cardigan. We both agree that the town has a lot going for it, but that there’s more that can be done to help small firms.
“I’ve worked with Cardigan Traders on their long-running campaign to cut business rates; Plaid Cymru’s plans would be a major step forward in this regard. Parking is an issue that also needs looking at. I’m pleased that Ceredigion towns will benefit from free town-centre parking over the Christmas period, and we need to look at creative ways to help potential customers to access our high streets.”