7 December 2019

Scottish Labour is pledging to throw the weight of the Treasury behind support for small businesses across Scotland.

As part of Labour’s proposals to invest in every part of the UK’s economy, small businesses will benefit from our proposed £250 billion National Investment Bank, of which £20 billion could be used in Scotland to invest in SMEs which make up over 98% of businesses in Scotland.

This £20 billion investment stands in stark contrast to the SNP commitment to invest £2 billion.

The creation of a publicly owned Post Bank will place a much greater emphasis on face to face lending and increased business support while Scottish Labour’s proposed Regeneration Fund would also see a much-needed rejuvenation of Scotland’s high streets.

Labour’s commitment to a Regeneration Fund comes as the Scottish Retail Consortium exposed that one in ten high street premises in Scotland are vacant.

That is why Scottish Labour would also seek to develop a retail sector industrial strategy, to ensure that a vital source of employment in Scotland's economy does not experience further decay.

In addition to our National Investment Bank and Regeneration Fund, Scottish Labour would also create a Workers’ Ownership Fund, to help facilitate an increase in Employee Owned Businesses.

We will also use the power of public sector procurement to support the local economy through our Community Wealth Building initiative.

Commenting, Scottish Labour Leader, Richard Leonard said:

“The high street is often the lifeblood of a community. It is where people socialise, it is where they shop, and it is where they will often work.

“Unfortunately, the high street as we know it is declining at a rapid rate while communities and businesses across Scotland pay the price.

“A decade of austerity and inaction has led us to this point. Only a plan for real change and investment will reverse this decade of decline, and at this election it is only the Labour Party that is committed to using the weight of the Treasury to back Britain’s small businesses.

“Our commitment to a UK National Investment Bank will mean that small businesses have access to the capital they need and our pledge to establish a Regeneration Fund will rejuvenate Scotland’s high streets.

“For too long, small businesses have been let down – Labour will fix that. A vote for Labour is a vote for real change because when Labour wins, Scotland wins.”

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