Will Forster

Lib Dem Spokesperson for Woking and Councillor for South Woking Learn more

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Lib Dems urge Chancellor to level the playing field for small shops over Christmas

by willforster on 15 November, 2020

The Lib Dems and I have called on the Chancellor to level the playing field to help small high streets compete with internet giants in the run up to Christmas.

The Lib Dems fear local shops hit by decreased footfall during the coronavirus pandemic will continue to struggle and have therefore proposed a new scheme in a similar vein to how the Eat Out to Help Out scheme aided restaurants.

To encourage people to shop local from home to save the high street, the party wants to see the Government cover the costs of postage and have appealed to Woking’s MP to back the campaign. 

The Federation of Small Businesses has welcomed the idea to help firms survive.  Mike Cherry, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “This is the type of creative idea that would boost small businesses and balance out the playing field.”

Small businesses in Woking and our villages are worried about their ability to stay afloat over the coming months.  For so many, Christmas is their most lucrative time of year but coronavirus restrictions have caused footfall to nosedive.

When people turn online to do their Christmas shopping, free postage offers from online shopping giants are incredibly tempting.  That makes it even tougher for small businesses in Woking, putting our high streets at further risk.  Ministers must level the playing field.

In the Summer, the Chancellor launched a campaign to support the hospitality sector.  We now need to see this Government go the extra mile to support small business in the festive period.

We want the Chancellor to pay the postage on online purchases from small local independent shops to make them a more viable option for people hunting for Christmas presents and encourage people to shop small from home.

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