C-stores a vital economic pillar

Businesses praise c-stores at Holyrood

The latest CPG focused on the contribution made by c-stores to the economy

THE role of independent retailers in supporting Scottish business was the subject of the day at the latest meeting of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group (CPG) on Independent Convenience Stores.

Following an update on a proposed retail crime bill, retailers and MSP attendees heard speakers from branded shortbread producer Paterson Arran, baker Goodfellow & Steven, shopfitter Vertex and coffee to go firm Fresh on the Go, all of whom highlighted the ways in which Scotland’s c-store businesses contribute to the economy as a whole.

Allan Miller, commercial director at Paterson Arran noted that his business, which employs around 200 members of staff, is reliant on the c-store sector.

Our business could survive without independent convenience stores but we would be so much the poorer.

“Our business could survive without independent convenience stores, but we would be so much the poorer,” he said.

Alex Dalglish, MD of shopfitting specialist Vertex also praised the independent convenience sector, while also highlighting the difficulties  faced by SMEs across Scotland in obtaining finance from banks.

CPG convenor Gordon MacDonald MSP informed the group that the parliament’s Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee will be holding an inquiry into business support following the summer break. The committee has issued a call for written views with a closing date of 10 August. MacDonald encouraged retailers to share their views.

The next meeting of the CPG is scheduled for 18 September.