YOUR AM WRITES: Newport East AM John Griffiths

SMALL businesses are the lifeblood of the Welsh economy. It’s estimated that small and medium enterprises make up about 99% of businesses in Wales, and employ around 1 million people. 95% of businesses are ‘micro-businesses’, employing less than 9 people.

Much more than just looking at the figures and the contribution to the economy, small businesses help build a sense of community. Many serve a very local area, where the business owners and their employees get to know their customers. People can build up trust in a market trader, shopkeeper, builder or hairdresser they’ve been to for years.

You can’t put a price on that kind of relationship, but we all know it’s valuable.

That’s why it was so good to see so much support for ‘Small Business Saturday’ on December 7th. Newport Bus offered a 50p fare for journeys in Zone 1 in the city, and some traders offered discounts of up to 20%.

A balanced and growing economy needs both public and private employment, and a mix of small and large employers. It’s important to have some large businesses in Wales, both for jobs and the services they provide. But if we forget the value of our smaller businesses we would lose so much.

IN THE Welsh Assembly this week, the Finance Minister gave the welcome news that the 21st Schools programme, the major Welsh Government school-building programme, would be accelerated and completed in 2019, two years before expected.

The scheme helps local authorities afford to rebuild run-down schools, and it’s believed this will help create or support 23,000 much-needed jobs over the next few years.

Modern schools, fit for purpose and well-designed, can help drive up achievement. There are many factors to improving standards in schools, and this is only one, but it was good news nonetheless.

CHRISTMAS is a wonderful time of year for many of us, as we gather with friends and family and celebrate with those we love. It can be hard for those who are recently bereaved or alone though.

If you have a neighbour, friend or family member who might be on their own this Christmas, why not make the extra effort to visit or call them?

A friendly gesture can help make the holiday period much less lonely for those not fortunate to be with their loved ones this year.

Comments (3)

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5:13pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Adam_smith1983 says...

But the qualifications post 19 needs to gain the jobs is being made 100 times harder with the £65 million cuts coming in to education £45 million being made to Further Education.

So yes "SMALL businesses are the lifeblood of the Welsh economy. It’s estimated that small and medium enterprises make up about 99% of businesses in Wales, and employ around 1 million people. 95% of businesses are ‘micro-businesses
, employing less than 9 people." but if people don`t have the needed education then jobs will not be filled!!!
But the qualifications post 19 needs to gain the jobs is being made 100 times harder with the £65 million cuts coming in to education £45 million being made to Further Education. So yes "SMALL businesses are the lifeblood of the Welsh economy. It’s estimated that small and medium enterprises make up about 99% of businesses in Wales, and employ around 1 million people. 95% of businesses are ‘micro-businesses , employing less than 9 people." but if people don`t have the needed education then jobs will not be filled!!! Adam_smith1983

9:29pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Jonnytrouble says...

Goush,we ARE doing well, MPs are suddenly writing or appearing in this paper, must be to do with that BIG pay rise they want ?
Goush,we ARE doing well, MPs are suddenly writing or appearing in this paper, must be to do with that BIG pay rise they want ? Jonnytrouble

4:28pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Poolerkev says...

He is an AM not an MP and I haven't seen any MP who actually wants it. That's what you got when complain that MP's need to be regulated...read: IPSA!!

Very intelligent comment Jonny.
He is an AM not an MP and I haven't seen any MP who actually wants it. That's what you got when complain that MP's need to be regulated...read: IPSA!! Very intelligent comment Jonny. Poolerkev

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