Several businesses in Crediton High Street received a visit from their local MP. Central Devon MP Mel Stride asked about footfall and was encouraged to hear that it has been on the rise, with Covid-19 cases falling dramatically in recent weeks and more people generally out and about enjoying the weather. Mr Stride also spoke with the Chair of Crediton Chamber of Commerce Bruce Evans.
Commenting, Mr Stride said:
“There was definitely an air of optimism among the business owners I spoke to. But with the cost of living going up, some households will be reigning in their spending and I’m concerned how this will impact local businesses. And of course businesses themselves are facing higher costs too – most notably higher energy bills. It is vital we continue to support our high streets as much as we can – every pound spent in a local business is a pound spent supporting local families and protecting local jobs.”
A former treasury minister, Mr Stride helped to reduce business rates by the majority of small high street shops by a third in 2018 – a shot in the arm for traders trying to compete with large online retailers. He now chairs the influential House of Commons Treasury Select Committee, recently pressing the Chancellor for greater support for businesses that have been impacted by the sanctions the UK has imposed on Russia.