Mark Eastwood MP for Dewsbury: Small businesses need our support throughout the year
It was great to get out and about and visit small businesses across the constituency as part of Small Business Saturday.
Mark Eastwood MP writes: We are fortunate to have so many terrific small independent businesses in Dewsbury and Mirfield.
They are the backbone of our local economy, and they need our support throughout the year.
On my tour of small businesses, I was joined in Dewsbury by local campaigner Keith Mallinson.
We met Bilal from Elegant Curtains and Blinds and Gareth from Cosmic Toys, where I had great fun playing space invaders and other retro games.
Another excellent port of call was to the historic Jacksons Shoes in Mirfield, where I joined local councillor Vivien Lees-Hamilton, and met owner Andrew. The business was established in 1911 and is probably one of the oldest small businesses in the district.
I encourage everyone to shop local and support our small businesses in these crucial winter trading months.
It is also vital that the Government help businesses build back better from the pandemic. To that end, I am delighted that next year, we are cutting business rates by at least 50 per cent for 90 per cent of retail, hospitality and leisure, and freezing all rates.
Combined with Small Business Rates Relief, this is a tax cut worth £7 billion for more than 700,000 eligible businesses – the biggest business rates cut in 30 years.
I was delighted to join the Friends of Crow Nest Park and the Kirklees Parks Team to congratulate them for winning their 10th Green Flag Award, which recognises and rewards well-managed parks across the UK and worldwide.
Among my other recent visits, it was great to visit Eastborough Junior, Infant and Nursery School to talk about the role of an MP, democracy, Parliament and more. I had a school tour and thanked all the staff and pupils for such a warm welcome!
It was also good to meet up with the Prime Minister in Huddersfield recently, who was in town to announce the record £96billion investment in our rail network, which forms part of the Integrated Rail Plan. The single most significant rail investment in British history.
Under the previous proposals for Northern Powerhouse Rail, places on the existing main lines, including Dewsbury and Huddersfield, would have seen little, if any, improvement but will now see major upgrades which would not have been completed under the old scheme, such as station improvements and full electrification of the lines and faster links.
Thank you to the children who sent me their fantastic designs for my annual Christmas card competition. I will be announcing the winner this weekend on my social media.
Finally, I would like to wish you and your family health, happiness, peace and prosperity this Christmas and in the coming New Year.
As always, the team and I are here to help.
Please feel free to contact me via email - [email protected]parliament.uk - or telephone 01924 939007.