Saturday 5 December 2020 / 12:01 AM Business / Ed Miliband / Keir Starmer

Labour hails monumental effort of local businesses during pandemic on Small Business Saturday

On Small Business Saturday, Labour hails “monumental effort” of local businesses during pandemic and calls on Government to support businesses through winter

Keir Starmer has led Labour’s tributes on Small Business Saturday to local businesses across the country for their “monumental effort” during the Covid-19 crisis. The Labour leader called on the Government to repay the “huge sacrifices” made by small businesses by providing a proper package of support to see them through the crucial winter months.

Praising small businesses for stepping up and supporting their local communities during the pandemic, Starmer also urged the public to support local businesses “this Saturday and beyond,” as many business owners face a fight for survival. Many businesses across the country – particularly in the hospitality sector – face continued restrictions in the run-up to Christmas without sufficient financial support from the Government.

On Monday, Starmer and Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds hosted a webinar with hundreds of small business owners and the Small Business Saturday team. The pair took part in a Q&A with businesses, committing to fight for better Government support for businesses in hard-pressed sectors like hospitality. Keir Starmer also pressed the Prime Minister to support the retail sector on Wednesday at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Today’s intervention follows a series of virtual and physical visits by Labour’s top team in recent days, celebrating small businesses up and down the country. Starmer visited the Portsmouth Gin Distillery – which switched to manufacturing hand sanitizer for their local area – and took a virtual tour of Alexandra Workwear in Bristol, which transformed production to produce over half a million pieces of life-saving PPE for frontline NHS staff.

On Friday, Ed Miliband warned that hundreds of thousands of small businesses reopening this Saturday may not make it to Spring without extra government support, as new analysis revealed an estimated 390,000 small businesses are worried they won’t survive the next three months.

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party said:

“Small businesses across the country have made a monumental effort during this crisis. They have stepped up when it was most needed, supporting their local communities and making huge sacrifices to help tackle the spread of the virus. Now we must repay them.

“The Government must ensure businesses, particularly those facing the toughest restrictions, are supported to see them through the winter.

“This Small Business Saturday and beyond, we can all do our bit to stand by small businesses, by shopping safely where we live, including online, or ordering from local restaurants.

“On behalf of the Labour Party I want to celebrate the small businesses who are at the heart of our communities. We will stand by them over the crucial months ahead in fighting for the support they need.”

Ed Miliband, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, said:

“Shops, pubs, manufacturers, hotels and hairdressers, beauty salons and suppliers, breweries and bakeries, and small businesses of all kinds have been on the frontline of the economic crisis.

“This is a day to celebrate the millions of these small businesses at the heart of our communities and the workers they employ. They represent the best of our country.”