Lockdown and Small Business

Lockdown and Small Business

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Staying within my council boundaries I travelled around the local towns both coastal and inland.

In Saltcoats I started counting the ‘For Let and For Sale’ signs and gave up once I looked down the main street and saw the amount evident in all their attractive colours, many of which are fading now due to weathering. I walked along this street remembering when I was young and going to the pictures in the La Scala Cinema and the many people busy with the daily shop and the local coffee bar on Winton Street. A stark contrast indeed and my early memories started to feel idyllic ephemeral flashback that will never return. The little restaurants up for sale or rent remind us how bad the lockdown has been for these small entrepreneurial outlets have been hit hard. Sainsbury’s remains busy of course and the workers in there, on the front line, behind screens, carry on regardless with no promise of extra payrises from our devolved government. They turn up everyday and the work is constant as all the small businesses are gone and most will be forced to shop there as a result of the enforced closures. They are to be rewarded really for keeping us all going. The cost though is a community that has lost its options and the small pleasures of shopping locally.

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. 9 March 2021. Pictured: Johnn McCallum. Candidate photos and photoshoot for Reform UK Scotland Party for the up and coming Holyrood Scottish Parliamentary Elections in May 2021. Michelle Ballantyne MSP is Leader of the Party. Credit: Colin Fisher

In Ardrossan’s Prince’s and Glasgow street the same tired images spoil the memories of the local shops where I went for my ‘sweeties’ and my mothers’ messages. Dull windows, rubbish around from the only businesses running, the food order online outlets.

Largs used to be a jewel of business and visitors and many shops that sold to locals and visiting customers are barely evident. The same For Sale or To let signs are there, in the papers the local Deli claims the amount of money lost due to enforced closure, the famous Nardini’s plans to open but even this long term business has suffered loss.

Driving up the coast to Inverkip we have seen the closure and almost derelict marina restaurant, a favourite place for families, once. Inland Kilbirnie, same again and it makes you wonder was this only Covid?

Yes, this was the last straw really, businesses in Scotland have suffered badly under the Devolved Government. The cry is Brexit and WM has caused the problem and that the EU will save Scotland. I have to remind people that in the 20 years of the Devolved Government, 18 of them were spent in the EU and did that help in any way? No is the stark answer so what would save us in re-joining. 12 of the 14 years of the SNP governance were in the EU and still these towns and businesses have diminished so why did our government fail to use the EU to save us in those years. 

The industrial parks are almost barren, no small manufacturing or construction businesses running and so I ask, where are the jobs for our schoolkids, where are the first jobs that these small lifelines threw out and what are they going to do when their high streets are gone and the opportunities to work part time are not there?

The lockdown has hurt us and small businesses and entrepreneurial outlets have died. Will they return when we see the empty and boarded up retail and workshop locations.

We, as a country, need our country to work on recovery of the economy and support our small and medium sized businesses as these are the starter jobs for 16-year-olds and to use an old phrase ‘Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves’.  These small businesses are the penny makers, and many pennies make a pound.

Reform candidates have all been in business in the main, all lived in the real world, all learned lessons and mainly and importantly, not career politicians. We deal with common sense not optics. We want our small businesses to be supported and tax allowances revised to assist growth, we do not support Tax and Spend, we support less taxation and investment to allow growth, a small business grows to a medium sized business and then grows into a national business. Thus we create employment and allow opportunities for all age ranges for employment in Scotland and not force people into the choice of moving away.

Reform UK Scotland will support businesses and in turn, have towns return to a place to spend time and visit and remove the depressing for sale/let signs which should be binned.

Small businesses employ local people, puts money into local producers and other businesses and towns come back to life.

Join and support Reform UK Scotland.