Cllr Paul Turpin visiting local shops in Broomhill
Cllr Paul Turpin visiting local shops in Broomhill

On Small Business Saturday Sheffield Green Party is calling on both the national government and the Council to implement a series of measures to help small and independent businesses and social enterprises green their operations, improve employee welfare and make it easier for people to shop local.

The measures include national government insulation grants for businesses, reform of business rates to incentivise greener business practices, an introduction of differential VAT rates in favour of small businesses, and an immediate suspension of Covid loan repayments

“Small and independent businesses and enterprises are the lifeblood of many local communities. And as many large corporations decline and abandon our city, small businesses can help revitalise our high streets.  

Councillor Paul Turpin, Group Spokesperson for the Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee said:

“Local businesses and enterprises help bring diversity to our city, providing it with a distinctive and unique character. They are also vitally important in providing jobs and keeping money circulating in the local area.

“We know many small businesses are struggling with the cost of living and high energy bills, and their running costs are set to increase again in March when the government’s short-term support will end. 

“That’s why, this Small Business Saturday, we are calling on the government to introduce insulation grants for businesses as a proper solution to their high bills. This would benefit small businesses massively, reducing their energy use, operating costs, and emissions.”

“The Green Party has long championed a nationwide insulation programme and other measures to support small business, including the reform of business rates. We are proud to be the party of small business; we want to see them thrive, and provided support to do so.”

This Small Business Saturday the Green Party are calling for:

  1. Grants to insulate small businesses to cut energy bills and emissions. Government should provide businesses with grants to insulate their premises to reduce their running costs, energy use, and emissions for good.
  2. Higher business rate exemption for small businesses that green their operations. Businesses should be incentivised to green their operations by not having to pay higher business rates as a result of taking sustainable measures such as installing solar panels.
  3. Support for small businesses to improve employee wellbeing. Government must support businesses to improve the wellbeing of their employees. 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.
  5. Creation of Virtual High Streets. Councils should work with small and independent businesses so residents can use an online portal to buy from participating local shops and have items delivered on the same or next day.