Association News

Minister Outlines Support for Local Shops

High Streets Minister Jake Berry has set out the Government’s plans to support local shops in an address to the annual ACS Heart of the Community Conference in London at Church House, Westminster on October 17th.

Berry said: “Local shops are a key part of our communities up and down the nation, so it’s great that the Association of Convenience Stores plays a central role in driving the High Street agenda forward. Their expertise is having a direct impact on the Government’s aims to drive local growth, making sure that communities continue to enjoy a healthy range of shops and services so they can shop, work and play.”

Research conducted by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) earlier this year into the views of consumers, retailers and local councillors shows that convenience stores and Post Offices are the two services that have the most positive impact on a local area.

The latest figures from the ACS Investment Tracker also show that convenience stores have invested £874m over the past year, with £229m invested in the last three months alone.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Convenience stores are integral to their communities, providing essential jobs for local people, investing in their businesses to improve the local economy and acting as a community hub for local customers. Retailers must ensure that they engage locally to show councils and other local decision makers the value of their business, and Heart of the Community conference is a great way to hear new ways of doing this from people that have seen success as a result of local engagement.

“With recently elected mayors, police and crime commissioners, local councils and other enforcement authorities all making decisions locally, there has never been a more important time for retailers to be part of the vision for the future of their community. We will continue to support these retailers in making a case for their business, as well as representing their interests to central government on key issues like business rate reform, crime prevention and the cost of employment in the sector.”

Jake Berry MP is MP for Rossendale and Darwen and Minister for High Streets within the Department for Communities and Local Government. His ministerial responsibilities include; high streets, local growth policy, mayors and devolution, Local Enterprise Partnerships and community rights.

Source: ACS