Mari Arthur has set out Plaid Cymru’s plans to boost Wales’ high streets and support local businesses. She said that a fairer business rate structure, better procurement practices and free parking were key to reviving Wales’ dwindling town centres and supporting the local traders that make up the backbone of the economy.
Mari Arthur said that Plaid Cymru’s plans were threefold:
Firstly, the party would scrap business rates for 70,000 companies, and look to make the system fairer in the long term.
Secondly, Plaid Cymru wants to improve the way public sector bodies spend their money in order to support local businesses. The Welsh public sector spends £4.3bn per year and Plaid Cymru wants to see more of this go to Welsh firms.
Thirdly, the party wants to make car parking free in Welsh towns in order to drive up footfall.
Plaid Cymru Llanelli candidate Mari Arthur said:
“Town centres are the focal point of the local community and local economy, but over recent years they haven’t been able to compete with the out of town developments that have drawn shoppers in.
“In Llanelli, Plaid Cymru has started the work of bringing shoppers back into the town with the new £2.5 million redevelopment, but we want to see the government do more to help business owners.
“Plaid Cymru wants to introduce a fairer business rate structure, and take 70,000 businesses out of paying rates altogether. As a small business owner I know that business rates can be a strain, so we need to do what we can to support them.
“We also want to do more to support local businesses by making public sector bodies use their money more wisely. The Welsh public sector spends £4.3bn per year but only around a third of this money goes to Welsh firms. We need to keep more Welsh public money in Wales, supporting Welsh businesses.
“And thirdly we need more free car parking in Welsh towns. Out of town developments often offer free parking so it makes it very difficult for the high street to compete. By providing free parking for shoppers, we can help level the playing field for high streets and get shoppers back there.
“Plaid Cymru recognises the importance of a vibrant and diverse high street in supporting local business owners and the local economy, and on Saturday I will be in Llanelli town centre taking this message to people, so that we can recreate the bustling town centre that I remember!”