Federation of Small Businesses

People in Neath have been challenged to support their local independent shops as part of the Federation of Small Businesses’ Keep Trade Local Campaign.

Neath MP Peter Hain showed his support for traders in the town centre as he visited local members of the FSB as part of the UK-wide campaign.

Mr Hain visited Neath Music in Water Street, and spoke to proprietor Adrian Bamford, before heading on to florist Bella Fiori in Neath Market, where he chatted to owner Huw Jones. He later stopped for coffee at the town’s famous Castle Hotel where he spoke with proprietor Sally Rowlands.

After visiting the traders he urged people to support the local businesses which define Neath’s character as a market town.

”We are lucky to have a good variety of independent shops in Neath, including those I have visited today,” he said.

”However, in these times of austerity, conditions are challenging for many independent retailers and I would encourage people to support the local businesses in Neath town centre, and those in our famous market, so that we continue to have a thriving town centre which will be attractive to shoppers in the years to come.”

Mr Hain is among a number of politicians from all the major parties who are visiting local traders in communities across Wales this summer as part of events organised by the FSB.

Traders in Neath are part of the FSB’S Swansea Bay Branch, which takes in Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot and has a membership of around 1700 small businesses.

Branch Secretary Sean Harris said: ”We are glad that Mr Hain has joined us today, and given his support to small independent businesses in Neath. We know that small businesses in the town have a lot to offer shoppers, not only in value and convenience, but also through the friendly and knowledgeable service they can provide.”

”We could encourage people to  make the most of the businesses that are on their doorstep, and support local retailers, coffee shops and tradespeople, so that they can continue to provide a valuable service and support employment in the town in the years to come. Once a High Street has fallen into decline the trend can be very difficult to reverse. It is something we have seen happening elsewhere but can be avoided in Neath if people here support their local traders.”

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‘The FSB is the UK’s leading business organisation with around 200,000 members, 10,000 of whom are in Wales. It exists to protect and promote the interests of the UK’s Real-Life Entrepreneurs who run their own business. More information is available at: www.fsb.org.uk/wales

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