Two stories in today’s Journal have really caught my eye. First the alarming news that four high street shops closed every week last year in the North East. We need to do more to support our high streets, especially the small independent retailers who are at the heart of those communities. That means better public transport access, improved parking and more, safer cycle routes. Also, last year the North East recorded its highest ever export figures. That’s good news but still only 3% of our region’s businesses export overseas. There is huge growth potential here and we need to do more to help these firms reach international markets. These issues are a reminder of the diversity of our business community with a range of issues and opportunities across the scale.
Here’s my thoughts: