Telford Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservatives of failing to protect local small businesses, after figures revealed that 1,610 businesses in the area have closed over the last three years.
It comes as the Liberal Democrats today (Saturday 7 December) unveil a series of measures to reverse this decline and boost local firms, to mark Small Business Saturday.
Recent figures show that 1,610 businesses have closed in Telford and Wrekin between 2016 and 2018, a 12.3% increase compared to the three years previously. Neighbouring Shropshire Council had a 3% increase in comparison.
Across the UK one million businesses have closed their doors between 2016 and 2018, an increase of almost a third compared to 2013- 2015.
The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that a no deal Brexit, which Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to rule out, would mean more damage to firms. Firms are also being held back by the Conservative government's failure to reform business rates, and by new taxes on the self-employed that business groups have described as "disastrous".
Liberal Democrats have said that they will Stop Brexit and invest the £50 billion Remain Bonus in improving public services and tackling inequality. The party would also put in place a package of measures to support small businesses and boost high streets in Telford & Wrekin including:
Commenting on the figures, Shana Roberts said:
"Boris Johnson, Lucy Allan and the Conservative Party have failed small businesses in Telford, saddling them with years of Brexit uncertainty and ignoring urgent calls to reform business rates.
"1,610 local businesses have closed their doors under the Conservative government's watch. Each business closing represents jobs, investment and opportunities lost to our area.
"Now Boris Johnson wants to plunge small businesses into even more uncertainty and worry by pursuing a Brexit plan that risks yet another No Deal cliff edge in December 2020. They have lost any right to call themselves the party of business.
"The Liberal Democrats will rescue our high streets and boost local businesses by stopping Brexit, scrapping outdated business rates and introducing more support for entrepreneurs."
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