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On Small Business Saturday, Labour leader hails “monumental effort” of Portsmouth businesses during pandemic

Keir Starmer has led Labour’s tributes on Small Business Saturday to local businesses in Portsmouth for their “monumental effort” during the Covid crisis.

On a visit to Portsmouth Gin Distillery – which switched to manufacturing hand sanitizer for their local area during the pandemic – the Labour Party leader called on the Government to repay the “huge sacrifices” made by small businesses by providing a proper package of support to see them through the crucial winter months.

On his visit to Portsmouth, alongside Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds and Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan MP, Keir Starmer praised small businesses across Portsmouth for stepping up and supporting their local community during the crisis.

The Labour Leader urged the public to support local businesses “this Saturday and beyond”, as many business owners face a fight for survival. Many businesses across the country – particularly in the hospitality sector – face continued restrictions in the run-up to Christmas without sufficient financial support from the Government.

On Monday, Keir Starmer and Anneliese Dodds hosted a webinar with hundreds of small business owners and the Small Business Saturday team. The pair took part in a Q&A with numerous businesses, committing to fight for better Government support for businesses in hard-pressed sectors like hospitality. Keir Starmer also pressed the Prime Minister to support the retail sector on Wednesday at Prime Minister’s Questions.

On Friday, Ed Miliband warned that hundreds of thousands of small businesses reopening this Saturday may not make it to Spring without extra government support, as new analysis revealed an estimated 390,000 small businesses are worried they won’t survive the next three months.

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party said: 

“Small businesses across Portsmouth have made a monumental effort during this crisis. They have stepped up when it was most needed, supporting their local community and making huge sacrifices to help tackle the spread of the virus. Now we must repay them.

“The Government must ensure businesses, particularly those facing the toughest restrictions, are supported to see them through the winter.

“This Small Business Saturday and beyond, we can all do our bit to stand by small businesses, by shopping safely where we live, including online, or ordering from local restaurants.

“On behalf of the Labour Party I want to celebrate the small businesses who are at the heart of our communities. We will stand by them over the crucial months ahead in fighting for the support they need.”

Commenting on Keir Starmer’s visit to Portsmouth Gin Distillery, Stephen Morgan, Labour MP for Portsmouth South, said:

“It’s great to welcome Keir and Anneliese back to Portsmouth, albeit in more challenging times, to mark Small Business Saturday. I know they both share my understanding of the value local businesses bring to our country’s prosperity.

“I’m proud that Portsmouth is a city of makers and doers, and small independent businesses give our city its soul and character. Many have shown incredible resilience throughout this pandemic.

“It is crucial that Government now provides the extra support our city needs to encourage new skills and to protect jobs and livelihoods throughout this winter period.”