Economy Secretary, Ken Skates has urged people across Wales to shop locally and support small businesses in the run up to Christmas.
He was speaking in support of Small Business Saturday, a UK wide campaign being held this year on Saturday 3rd December.
Ken Skates said:
“SMEs truly are the life blood of the Welsh economy, making up 99% of Welsh businesses and employing 60% of people working in the private sector.
“Events such as Small Business Saturday are a handy reminder that by shopping locally we can directly support our SMEs and ensure a proportion of our money is invested straight back into our local economies.
"The Welsh Government is committed to supporting SMEs in Wales which is why we are investing £86m up to 2020 to ensure small businesses have access to information, guidance and business support through our European funded programme, Business Wales.
“We are also busy marketing the service so both existing and growing small businesses are aware of the help and support on offer.
“We have had some great feedback from SMEs about the range of services provided by Business Wales however one simple way we can all show our support for local businesses is by giving them our custom, and Small Business Saturday provides the perfect excuse to do just that.”
The Welsh Government is also actively supporting small businesses with its Small Business Rates Relief Scheme.
Finance and Local Government Secretary Mark Drakeford highlighted the rates relief support the Welsh Government is providing to 70,000 small businesses across the country. He said:
“Our Small Business Rates Relief scheme will save small businesses in Wales from having to pay £100m in tax.
“Under the scheme, 70% of all small businesses receive help with their rates and more than half pay no rates at all. We’re making sure this continues by extending the scheme next year.
“We are aware of the impact the independent Valuation Office Agency’s revaluation has had on some businesses’ eligibility for rates relief which is why we will be providing additional support to more than 7,000 ratepayers in Wales next year with a £10m transitional relief scheme available from April 2017.
“We will also be considering how we can make improvements to SBRR over the next year ahead of the introduction of the new permanent scheme in 2018. We will be consulting with small businesses to get their views about how they can best be supported so we can work together to ensure a thriving future for our high streets.”