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Businesses say high streets 'can be revitalised'

More than half (53 per cent) of independent retailers in England think that their town centre is performing 'poorly' but 70 per cent think that better relationships with local authorities would improve the situation, according to research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

A number of initiatives for revitalising high streets and town centres were supported by the firms surveyed by the FSB, including:

  • businesses relocating to town centres (60 per cent)
  • flexible opening hours (38 per cent)
  • more 'pop-up' stores (37 per cent)

The national policy chairman of the FSB, Mike Cherry, said: "Reviving town centres from decline is possible with the right measures from councils and local authorities. We want improved dialogue and co-operation between independent retailers and their local decision-makers, so they can work jointly on improving their town centres. Attracting new businesses and shoppers is one way to ensure the survival of small businesses, which is why we are supporting Local Business Week and its pledge for shoppers to buy three things on their local high street."

The FSB is calling for UK shoppers to support Local Business Week, which promotes shopping on local high streets, and is calling for fair business rates through its Keep Trade Local campaign.