The Scottish government has pledged to work with independent retailers to help them overcome barriers to success, following a Scottish Parliament debate yesterday.

The contribution of community shops to the local and national economy was the subject of the Scottish Parliament debate, which was triggered after Edinburgh MSP Gordon MacDonald tabled a motion highlighting the importance of c-stores to his constituency.

The motion received overwhelming cross-party support, meaning it had to be taken forward for debate under parliamentary procedure.

Speaking on behalf of the Scottish Government, enterprise minister Fergus Ewing “pledged” to work with the SGF on the issues affecting convenience store retailers.

Gordon Macdonald MSP said: “I know from my own constituency that convenient stores play a vital part in the local economy and provide our communities with valuable services. It is important that the Scottish Parliament recognises this and that’s why I was determined to bring forward this debate.”

Attending the debate were leading local retailers Dennis and Linda Williams, whose Premier Broadway store is in the MSP’s constituency. Dennis said: “We need our MSPs to understand how important convenience stores are to the local economy. Gordon is a great supporter of independent retailers in his constituency and he has done an outstanding job getting this debate into parliament.”

SGF public affairs manager John Lee said: “This is a major step forward for the independent convenience store sector in Scotland and we applaud Gordon Macdonald for his support for our industry.

“We will take the minister at his word and meet with him to discuss key issues such as the planning system, competition and business rates.”