Plea to East Dunbartonshire MP elected next week to help revitalise local towns

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The MP chosen to represent East Dunbartonshire at next week’s general election must help deliver action on the area’s towns which works for local economy and communities, says the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The organisation is making the case for new funding for towns and high streets through the UK Towns Fund.

Statistics compiled by the small business campaign group show that Scotland’s local towns have faced more than 400 local closures since 2016.

FSB’s Development Manager for Dunbartonshire Hisashi Kuboyama said: “Over the last few years, East Dunbartonshire’s towns have been hit with at least seven closures by banks and big businesses. And there’s no end in sight as many big name brands announce restructuring programmes.

“That’s why we need to see the next UK Government allocate a fair share of the £3.6bn Towns fund to Scotland so East Dunbartonshire’s towns will get a vital cash boost. This generational investment would allow us to find new uses for empty properties and help us install low carbon infrastructure, like charging stations, in the centre of our local places.”

The FSB manifesto also urges MPs to deliver an immigration system that meets the needs of local businesses.

Hisashi Kuboyama said: “Our next batch of MPs will likely need to make a number of important choices about the structure of a UK future immigration system.

“At every turn, we’re urging them to push for a regime that recognises East Dunbartonshire’s demographic challenges and is user-friendly and affordable for smaller business.”

Research published by the FSB and the University of Strathclyde earlier this year showed that immigrant entrepreneurs make a £13 billion annual contribution to Scotland’s economy and support more than 107,000 jobs.

Further according to FSB research, one in four small employers in Scotland (26%) have at least one employee from an EU country. This compares to about one in five (21%) across the UK.