I've pledged my support for the 58 convenience stores in the Cheadle constituency at the Association of Convenience Stores’ (ACS) Heart of the Community reception in Parliament, to celebrate the essential role that local shops play in our communities.
Heart of the Community is an annual event which brings together retailers from across the country with MPs to voice their concerns about the future of the sector. This year’s reception celebrated the role that the convenience sector is playing in tackling loneliness in isolated areas, promoting the development of staff through apprenticeships and enabling customers to make healthier choices.
Local shops in the district centres around our area provide an essential service to local people, flexible local jobs and make significant investment in the local economy. I’m delighted to show my support for them and will continue working to ensure they can thrive on our high streets.
The 2018 ACS Local Shop Report shows that there are 46,262 convenience stores in mainland UK making up a sector that is now worth over £38 billion. Local shops are also a vital source of employment, providing jobs for around 365,000 people, and over 450 of these are in Cheadle. Local shop owners are some of the hardest working people in the UK – 20% of shop owners work more than 70 hours per week on average, and 19% take no holiday at all throughout the year.
The convenience sector also makes a significant contribution to the UK economy, generating over £3.6bn in taxes over the last year.