Federation of Small Businesses policy & advocacy chair, Tina McKenzie, is urging SMEs to have their say on the FSB’s Future of the High Street survey.
Recent retail stats hint at optimism, with of latest ONS statistics showing a 0.5% rise in retail sales volumes in April, after a fall of 1.2% in March.
She said: “These statistics prove the enduring potential of our high streets. A rise of 0.8% in sales in the three months to April 2023 tells us that our traditional high street still holds its own in the business arena. It’s a feather in the cap of the nimble high street retailers that stay one step ahead of market shifts and trends.
“However, it’s not all rosy, with rising interest rates and concerns about consumer demand. There are still huge roads ahead for our high street stores who are wrestling with business rates, VAT, late payments and poor transport links. Only with certainty and support can the full potential of these small firms can be realised.
“That’s why swift action is crucial. We need as many SMEs as possible to take part in our Future of the High Street survey. When our high streets thrive, so does the rest of the business sector and the more participants we get, the louder voice for us all. Share your stories about dealing with business rates, transport, parking, access to cash – and let us know what changes you think could spark a revolution for our high streets. Now is the time to bring new life to our high streets with fresh, bold ideas backed by sound public policies.”
The findings will be analysed, and recommendations then submitted to the UK and national and local governments and devolved administrations to help the UK’s high streets to flourish into the future.
The survey runs until Thursday (July 27) and can be found here.