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    SGF welcomes Holyrood debate on value of convenience stores

    A Members Business debate lodged by Gordon Macdonald MSP has highlighted the substantial and positive benefits that convenience stores bring to their local communities, and the contribution of the sector to the Scottish Economy. The debate was held in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 8th November.

    The SGF has warmly welcomed the opportunity, which featured information published in the Scottish Local Shop Report 2023, and thanked Gordon Macdonald MSP for submitting the Motion on behalf of convenience stores across Scotland. Mr Macdonald is also the Convener of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group for Independent Convenience Stores.

    SGF welcomes Holyrood debate on value of convenience stores
    Gordon Macdonald MSP

    Scotland has 5,171 convenience stores employing over 49,000 people. Many local stores offer key amenities, such as bill payment services, free access to cash and Post Office facilities. As well as providing a one stop shop for essential foods and home items, all within the local community.

    The UK wide sector contributed over £9.1bn in taxes last year and expected to grow to £50.9bn by 2026. Meanwhile, 81 per cent of independent convenience retailers are engaged in some form of community activity throughout the year, and 65 per cent collect money for national or local charities.

    MSPs from across the chamber commended the sector to for its contribution to Scottish communities. In closing the debate Minister for Local Government, Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, highlighted that convenience stores ‘provide vital access services and flexible employment’ for their local areas.

    “At a time when households and businesses are bearing the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis, it is right that we celebrate the hard work and resilience of Scotland’s convenience sector,” said Gordon Macdonald after the debate.

    “These stores must be recognised for their significant value to both local customers and Scotland’s economy, providing a lifeline for residents through services like Post Offices and stocking local produce.

    “The SNP Scottish Government continues to champion the work of local retailers through initiatives like Scotland Loves Local and is taking meaningful action to build a well-being economy with well-paid jobs and growth at its heart, with the convenience sector playing a crucial part.

    “I am grateful for the support of my motion from across the political parties and the contributions from MSPs in the debate which recognised the fantastic role convenience stores play to the wider benefit of local communities and the economy.”

    SGF welcomes Holyrood debate on value of convenience stores
    Dr Pete Cheema OBE

    SGF Chief Executive, Dr Pete Cheema OBE, added: “Local retailers are at the very heart of their communities and, despite being a very difficult time for many stores, the sector continues to deliver for both local residents and the Scottish Economy.

    “Our Local Shop Report 2023, published just a few short weeks ago, provides a key insight into the convenience store sector, the vital services our industry provides and the tireless work of many of those who are employed in our trade.

    “The contribution of convenience stores and retail over the past few years cannot be overstated. SGF very much welcomes this recognition in the Scottish Parliament, and I personally want to thank Gordon Macdonald for submitting his motion and bringing the debate forward.”

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