If you’re a small business owner in Southwark, or your share our concern about the future of the jobs market in our borough, you’ll be interested in the Liberal Democrats’ five point plan for jobs and local businesses.

It includes measures like offering business rate discounts to attract small businesses to the areas where they will be most valued, creating 1,000 new apprenticeships to give people a leg up onto the career ladder, and offering business loans through the council to help new traders to get up and running.

Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis helped us to launch the plan back in November, whcih we will implement it in full if we take control of the council in a couple of weeks’ time. Theo was obviously impressed with the offer, calling the measures "spot on"!

We think they’ll go a long way to revitalise our high streets, help valued local businesses get on, and give people the support they need to find work.

Our Five Point Plan for jobs and local business

1. Revitalise high streets and markets including a new 'I'm shopping locally' parking scheme and a levy on large supermarkets.

2. Offer business loans through the council to help start-up companies obtain the financial support they need to start trading.

3. Use new powers to reduce business rates to support struggling businesses and encourage regeneration where it is most needed

4. Create 1,000 new apprenticeships in the borough to help to revitalise the local economy and create lasting jobs.

5. Open a new 'Jobs & Enterprise Hub' offering information and support on jobs and training, as well as desk space for start-ups.

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