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17 May 2013

Poorly performing town centres can be revitalised, if traders and local authorities work together

Reference number: PR 2013 24

FSB News Release
PR 2013 24

 
Issue date: Thursday 16 May 2013
 
Poorly performing town centres can be revitalised, if traders and local authorities work together
 
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says half of independent retailers think their town centre is performing ‘poorly'' and is backing calls for closer ties between small firms and local authorities, to boost spending on the high street.
 
The FSB is calling for local decision-makers to have closer relationships with small firms, to boost the economy of local high streets. Research by the FSB shows half (53%) of small firms in England think their town centre is currently performing ''poorly''. Seventy per cent believe better links between themselves and their local authorities would have a positive impact on their high street.
 
These small firms believe that initiatives including; businesses relocating to town centres (60%), flexible opening hours (38%) and more ‘Pop-up'' stores (37%), should also be part of key plans to revitalise high streets.
 
It comes as the FSB backs Local Business Week calling on UK shoppers to buy three things from their high street. The FSB has also recently re-launched its Keep Trade Local campaign to highlight the need to save local stores.
 
Mike Cherry, National Policy Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
 
"Reviving town centres from decline is possible with the right measures from councils and local authorities. We want improved dialogue and co-operation between independent retailers and their local decision-makers, so they can work jointly on improving their town centres. Attracting new businesses and shoppers is one way to ensure the survival of small businesses, which is why we are supporting Local Business Week and its pledge for shoppers to buy three things on their local high street."
 
ENDS
 
ISDN line is available for media interviews
Notes to editors
1. The FSB is the UK''s leading business organisation with around 200,000 members. It exists to protect and promote the interests of the UK''s Real-Life Entrepreneurs who run their own business. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk.
 
2. The research was based on an online survey of 2,425 members of the FSB Voice of Small Business Panel. The survey was carried out by Research by Design, between 13 March and 2 April 2013. To find out more visit www.fsb.org.uk/fsb-survey-panel
 
3. Through its Keep Trade Local campaign the FSB is calling for:
- Business rates to be made fairer and small business rates relief to be made   permanent in England as it is in Scotland
- Business rates to be indexed to the CPI inflation measure
- Central and local government to think about the ‘three P''s'' – planning, parking and procurement as a way to boost and encourage local trade
 
4. Local Business Week is calling on UK shoppers to ‘Take the Pledge'' and buy three things from their high street, local shop or local service.
 
Media contacts:
Sara Crane: 020 7592 8113 / 07595 067068 sara.crane@fsb.org.uk
Laura Pride: 020 7592 8121 laura.pride@fsb.org.uk
 
For regional FSB contacts please go to www.fsb.org.uk/regions