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Supermarkets: Competition

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether it is his Department's policy to assist small shops adversely affected by competition from supermarkets; and if he will make a statement. (320839)

The Government recognise the important role of small shops to local communities and, the national economy. There is a wide range of support available which can be accessed through business link:

www.businesslink.gov.uk/realhelp

Local planning authorities are required to take into account the Government's Planning Policy to help safeguard retail diversity and vibrancy of town centres which includes creating opportunities for small shops.

Ensuring fair competition in markets is a matter for the independent competition authorities. The Competition Commission, who reported on the market on the UK supply of groceries in 2008 concluded that while the process of competition can be challenging, it was generally working well and delivered good outcomes for consumers.