SNP MSP calls for wider change to support local businesses

Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick has argued in Parliament for consideration of the wider “causes of low footfall” when designing business support.

In a debate on the Scotland Loves Local Fund, which recently paid out its first round of grants including £20,000 to Inverness and surrounding areas, she celebrated that this funding was “at a local level and with purpose, principles, and policies to back it up.”

Commenting, she said:

“If we leave town centres as polluted, unattractive spaces for cars to use as rat runs, there is nothing to encourage people off their sofas and the internet and onto our pavements and into local shops.

“If we are going to tackle climate change, infrastructure for people, for bikes and for public transport has to be front and centre when we create policy for our public areas.

“We are past the point of talking about these issues in isolation – if we want people to return to high street shopping, high streets must be accessible and they have to be nice places to spend time. “Our businesses should be thriving, not just relying on short-term funding or other financial support – and that needs policy which takes into consideration transport, housing, sustainability, and so many other areas which have an effect on the experience of business owners and shoppers in this country.”