The NFRN’s parliamentary receptions are a great opportunity to speak directly to political representatives and industry decision makers to highlight the issues affecting independent retailers. National President Linda Sood explains more…

Next week – on the afternoon of Tuesday 20 February to be exact – the NFRN is holding a very important reception in the House of Commons where officials and members from all of our 13 districts will be providing MPs, Lords and key opinion formers with an insight into all the issues that retailers face. As NFRN members will know only too well there are a great many of them.

Then on April 24 it’s the turn of our Scottish members to spell out to their MSPs the areas of concern for independent newsagents and convenience stores, together with the solutions required to tackle them.

Face to face contact at such high levels is crucial, not just because we have a chance to influence government policy, but also because it keeps the name of the NFRN and our 15,000 members at the front of the minds of those who have the power to help or hinder our businesses.

At both receptions our members will be highlighting the need for action against rising incidents of retail crime, whether this is from shoplifting or robbery, and appealing to the government to do more when it comes to protecting shop owners and their staff in their place of work.  We will be detailing the impact that illicit alcohol and tobacco has on local communities, explaining the anomalies that exist in the news industry and how escalating carriage charges, margin cuts and service failings are leading to newsagents closing or rethinking their product offering. We will pledge our wholehearted support behind a UK-wide deposit and return scheme for plastic bottles and cans and call for compensation for retailers affected by roadworks.

The message that we want to get over loud and clear is that independent retailers need the government’s help if we are to operate profitably and contribute fully to the economy.

Even if you will not be joining us at Westminster or Holyrood you can still play a part. Why not call your MP or MSP today to check that they know about the NFRN receptions and encourage them to come along. If they can’t attend, don’t worry. Simply invite them to visit your store or drop in to one of their surgeries and explain issues that are affecting you and what you need them to do to help.

Linda Sood
NFRN National President

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