Since the pandemic, big corporations have been able to adapt to the new world by shifting their business online. Meanwhile, many small businesses have been forced to close completely through no fault of their own.
From hairdressers to café owners, builders to florists – small businesses are the backbone of our city. We know they need support. But sadly, many have gone to the wall in the last year unable to cope.
Local shopping streets – like Albany Road, City Road, Clifton Street, Cowbridge Road East, Crwys Road, Merthyr Road and Whitchurch Road – have all been hit to a greater or lesser extent, with some businesses having failed to survive. Post offices and banks have closed, or are scheduled to close in the coming year.
We are therefore launching a campaign calling on Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government to implement a recovery plan for our local suburban high streets and local shopping centres, in addition to the planned strategy for a recovery of our city centre.
Nationally, the Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for:
- a £500 million fund over the next five years to invest in the future of Welsh high streets and town centres
- scrapping business rates and replacing them with a fairer system
- more support for businesses to help them create new jobs
- establishing an Economic Recovery Council
Locally we are calling for:
- an additional council fund to support Cardiff's local high streets and shopping centres, providing grants to help businesses improve and adapt
- an adoption of the "20-minute neighbourhoods" principle where we plan for people to have most of the facilities they need on a daily basis within a 20-minute walk, bus ride or cycle from their home. The needs to underpin the council's planning, economic development and transport strategies.
If you agree that we need Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government to work together on a recovery plan for our local shopping streets and shopping centres, then please sign our petition below.
I/we, the undersigned, call on Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government to draw up a recovery plan for our local high streets and shopping centres to help them recover following the Covid-19 pandemic.