Pete - Conf22

The Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) has published its manifesto ahead of the General Election on 4 July 2024, setting out key priorities for the next UK government and urging newly elected MPs to support their local shops.

Local retailers now face a range of challenges from both the UK government and Scottish government, according to the trade association. 

The challenges outlined included tighter restrictions across several product categories, new regulations on waste management, increasing costs for providing vital local employment, and a real terms reduction in support for business rates.

On top of the regulations, the SGF stressed the unprecedented levels of crime, theft and abuse towards staff the retail sector is contending with, alongside “persistently high food inflation, energy costs and interest rates”.

Laying out the SGF stall for the General Election, chief executive Dr Pete Cheema OBE said: “Retail is absolutely vital to the Scottish Economy, and convenience stores are at the very heart of the communities they serve. Providing essential lifeline goods and facilities that boost local wellbeing, growth and employment.

“Ministers in both Westminster and Edinburgh have a duty to ensure that new regulation is supporting our good, well-meaning businesses, and not pulling the rug out from under them.

“That is why we are asking the new UK Government, whatever their political views, to take a serious look at how overregulation is impacting small business, local shops and the entire UK supply chain.

“Our manifesto sets out five key areas, where powers rest with decision makers in the UK Parliament, and over the coming weeks we will keep an eagle eye on the promises that are made throughout the campaign to support business and grow the economy.”

The SGF will host a General Election Hustings for retailers and Scottish convenience representatives on 11 June, in Falkirk. All six of the major political parties in Scotland have been invited to attend and set out their plans for the next UK Parliament.