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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Member of Parliament for York Outer

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Julian Visits Garden Centre for Small Business Saturday 2021

December 4, 2021

Julian visited Skelton Garden Centre to lend his support to the Small Business Saturday campaign. Skelton Garden Centre stocks a huge range of plants and outdoor supplies, and also has a thriving café, together drawing significant footfall from the immediate neighbourhood, and across the city.

This annual event highlights the vital economic and social contribution of small businesses to communities across the country, and encourages residents to support their local enterprises. Hugely restricted by covid rules last year, this event is especially important in 2021 as so many small businesses are still rebuilding from the damage of lockdowns, with the pandemic having posed a particular threat to the survival of smaller shops and companies.

Julian has always campaigned energetically on behalf of York’s small employers, especially so over the last two years given the risk to jobs and the vitality of local shopping parades and communities posed by the pandemic. He pressed the government for targeted support and responsible lockdown easing for the city’s large hospitality and tourism sector and other small businesses, and was glad this was listened to with special VAT discounts and business rate reductions, including in October’s Budget.

Today’s visit also allowed Julian to talk to customers about issues that mattered to them while they collected their Christmas trees and stocked up on decorations to usher in the festive season.

After the visit, Julian said “It was wonderful to see this established York small business bouncing back from the months of uncertainty and lockdown, securing jobs and prosperity locally.

Having established a reputation for quality, it was reassuring to hear how this family business has navigated the difficulties of the pandemic and even managed to attract new regular customers as many people invested in their gardens following extended lockdowns. 

Supporting small independent businesses is so crucial to ensure we can continue to enjoy a vibrant local economy. Purchases also support jobs in the supply chain, for example the Christmas trees on sale at Skelton Garden Centre are grown just down the road in North Yorkshire. 

Given the economic wrecking ball of covid, Small Business Saturday has simply never been more important, and I and other decision-makers have a very serious responsibility to listen to small business owners, and do all we can to ensure they can recover and thrive.

Small businesses are especially important for the variety and character of the suburbs and villages around York. I will continue to speak on their behalf at Westminster, to secure the economic future of our city.”