Kemi Badenoch MP has commended businesses across the Saffron Walden constituency for the part they have played in responding to the coronavirus pandemic to mark Small Business Saturday. This year, Small Business Saturday has come at the end of a hugely challenging period for small businesses, with many facing long periods of closure and reduced income due to the pandemic. Mrs Badenoch has praised businesses for stepping in to support the local community throughout 2020.
In the run up to Christmas, Mrs Badenoch has urged residents to get out and support local shops on the high street or use the new Click it Local in Uttlesford to get products delivered straight to your door.
Throughout the course of pandemic, the Government has provided more than £280 billion to support lives and livelihoods. This includes:
- The furlough scheme, which has now been extended until the end of March and continues to support 9,800 jobs in the Saffron Walden constituency.
- Grants for the self-employed, which have been made more generous in light of recent national and local lockdown announcements, and which have benefitted 5,100 people in the Saffron Walden constituency
- Loans and Government-backed grants which have helped businesses facing severely reduced income because of pandemic.
- VAT cuts and business rates holidays for many small businesses, including those in the hospitality and retail sectors.
The Government is determined not to be blown off course by the pandemic and deliver on its promise, made at the General Election one year ago, to level up towns and communities across the whole country. To aid this, the Chancellor has recently announced a new £4 billion Levelling Up Fund to improve the infrastructure people and businesses rely on every day, following the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, and £1 billion Future High Streets Fund, which are helping to transform town centres across the country.
Commenting, Mrs Badenoch said: “There’s no doubting just how challenging 2020 has been for small businesses, which are the backbone of our local economy.
“We’ve seen local businesses step up to help our community time and time again this year, and I pay tribute to all of those who have played their part in getting us through the pandemic.
“We are fortunate to benefit from many independent shops in our two towns and when I spoke with some of them on Small Business Saturday, they expressed their gratitude for the support from Government and the local community.
“I hope residents across Uttlesford will continue to support our high streets and local businesses in the run up to Christmas, and if this is not possible to visit the Click It Local site to get products delivered to their door.”