Greens call for package of support for small and independent businesses on Small Business Saturday  

Exeter Green Party is using Small Business Saturday to press the government for a support package to help local firms thrive.

Exeter Green Party Parliamentary candidate, Andrew Bell [1], said:

“Exeter has a large range of small and independent businesses, helping to make our city vibrant and distinctive. But they need government to get behind them and offer the right support. From reforming VAT and suspending Covid repayments to exempting childcare providers from business rates and assisting with greening transport, there is much more the government could and should be doing.

“Making the money available to support small and independent businesses is a political choice. Introducing a wealth tax on the super-rich could raise at least £30 billion [2]. Just £3 billion of that could be used to double funding for Green Transition Grants [3] – to help small businesses prepare for and make the most of the opportunities of greening the economy.

“Small and independent businesses bring huge economic, social and environmental benefits - they are the heart of our local community. The Green Party has long been the party of small business, and that’s why, this Small Business Saturday, we are calling for a package of support to help them thrive.”

The package of support the the Green Party is calling for this Small Business Saturday: 

1. 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 [3].

2. Assistance for small businesses to decarbonise their transport needs. Independent traders and tradespeople need access to electric vans and other low carbon transport solutions on the same terms as large companies. [4]

3. Support for small businesses to improve employee wellbeing. Measures should include exempting all childcare providers in England from business rates.

4. Reform of VAT to support small businesses and suspension of Covid repayments. The government must reform our VAT system so that it differentially supports smaller shops and businesses compared to larger and online businesses. Likewise, there should be an immediate suspension of Covid loan repayments to provide much needed relief for businesses.

NOTES 

[1] Details about Green Party Parliamentary candidate Andrew Bell: Exeter Green Party parliamentary candidate pledges to push next government to create a fairer, greener and healthier city

[2] Tax the richest 1% to pay for better, warmer homes, say Greens | The Green Party

[3] 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. Analysis by the British Business Bank found that SMEs account for almost one third of all UK emissions and around half of total UK business emissions. The Government is currently providing very little financial support for small business in the transition to Net Zero. Despite Chris Skidmore’s Net Zero Review highlighting the challenges faced by SMEs, small sums from the UK’s Shared Prosperity Fund have been channelled via local authorities. We need a competitively fair transition to Net Zero that benefits rather than hinders SMEs.

[4] SMEs face greater barriers to decarbonising their transport than do large businesses. For instance, they are impacted by market shortages of second-hand, low emissions vehicles which has meant larger businesses have been able to obtain suitable vehicles while smaller businesses have not. Greens want to see government offering information, advice and market interventions such as grants so that SMEs are able to obtain suitable vehicles and have the right incentives to overcome these and other barriers.