SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, Ruth Maguire, is encouraging consumers in North Ayrshire to shop locally and support the 3,365 small businesses in the North Ayrshire economy.

The Scottish Government is committed to supporting businesses in Scotland, including retailers, providing the most competitive package of non-domestic rates reliefs anywhere in the UK in the 2018/19 budget. This includes the Small Business Bonus scheme that has already saved smaller firms £1.5bn, lifting 100,000 business premises out of rates altogether.

Commenting, Ruth said:

“Shopping locally is good for communities, good for the environment and great for the local economy, supporting 18,760 workers in North Ayrshire in small businesses.

“Today’s market provides many new challenges for retailers, including the move to online shopping as well as Brexit-fuelled inflation and more expensive imports that translate into higher prices at the checkout. Brexit is the biggest threat facing the Scottish economy and the SNP will continue challenging the Tory government’s extreme Brexit plans and standing up for Scottish businesses and jobs.

“Given these challenges, wherever possible, we should all seek to support North Ayrshire’s huge variety of brilliant independent, locally run businesses such as Lighthouse Glass Company and Personalised Gift Ideas in Irvine.

“Each small business offers something unique and special, and it is important that we support them and help our local economy to thrive in a market that is increasingly dominated by the big players.”