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About the APPSSG

The All-Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group brings together a cross party group of MPs interested in small shops and the policy issues that impact them. The All-Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group aims to raise the profile of small shop issues in parliament through timely briefings, meetings and debates on key issues, such as business rates, employment costs, retail crime and the future of our high streets.

The APPSSG is chaired by Ruth George, MP for High Peak. Ruth is responsible for overseeing the direction and topics that the group covers and was appointed Chair of the group after the 2017 General Election.

The current officers of the group are:

Chair: Ruth George MP (Labour, Rochdale)

Vice Chair: Scott Mann MP (Conservative, North Cornwall)

Vice Chair: John Grogan MP (Labour, Keighley)

Officer: Nic Dakin MP (Labour, Scunthorpe)

Officer: John McNally MP (SNP, Falkirk)


The APPSSG is registered with the House of Commons. The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) provides the secretariat services for the APPSSG. The APPSSG is support by Independent Retail Confederation and their members.

For more information, contact Steve Dowling, ACS Public Affairs Executive, via steve.dowling@acs.org.uk


APPSSG Programme of Activity 2017/2018

Listed below is the initial programme of activity for the APPG in 2017/18. The APPSSG also runs events in response to key policy or political developments that may affect small shops

November 2017 - What do small shops want from the Budget?

The APPG will host a meeting with MPs to call on the Chancellor to deliver a Budget to support small shops and local high streets to thrive. The meeting is set to raise topics such as business rates, employment costs and duty rates.

The Rural Shop Report 2018 Parliamentary Launch

16.00 to 18.00, 30th January 2018, The Wilson Room, Portcullis House

ACS' (the Association of Convenience Stores) Rural Shop Report 2018 will be launched at the APPSSG meeting. The meeting will include a panel discussion on the challenges faced by the rural economy.

The Crime Report 2018 Parliamentary Launch

March 2018, Room and Date TBC

ACS' (the Association of Convenience Stores) Crime Report 2018 will be launched at the APPSSG meeting. The Crime Report 2018 will detail the cost of retail crime and retailers' investment into crime prevention measures.

APPSSG Activity

Everyday Entrepreneurs Inquiry

In June 2016, the group published the Everyday Entrepreneurs Inquiry. This Inquiry looked at how entrepreneurial activity can be encouraged through initiatives at a local level and removing regulatory and financial barriers to growth.

The Inquiry featured several oral evidence sessions in Parliament from leading academics, business leaders and successful entrepreneurs. Please see here for more details on the Inquiry.

Best Small Shops Competition

The APPSSG also coordinates the Best Small Shops competition, which seeks to crown the best small shops in the UK based on their entrepreneurial activities, work within the community and innovation in their business. In 2015, over 300 shops were nominated and 20 shortlisted to attend a Parliamentary reception to announce the winner and celebrate the strength of local small businesses.

APPSSG Policy Meetings

The APPSSG hosts a number of policy meetings in parliament to debate issues that affect small shops. The APPSSG regularly invites Ministers and Government officials to debate policy issues and understand their impact on small shops. The group most recently hosted David Gauke MP, Financial Secretary to HM Treasury, to analyse the Business Rates Review. The group has also worked in partnership with the All-party Parliamentary Town Centres group to discuss the National Planning Policy Framework.

APPSSG Management

All-party groups (APPGs) are unofficial groups within the Houses of Parliament and have a membership of backbench Members of the House of Commons and Peers. They cover a range of subjects, which are generally of interest to Members from all parties and vary in size and the activity they are involved in. The rules for running the All Party Groups are available here.


Association of Convenience Stores

Association of Cycle Traders

Booksellers Association

British Independent Retailers Association

Craft Bakers Association 

Entertainment Retailers Association

Federation of Wholesale Distributors

Guild of Fine Food

National Federation of Retail Newsagents

National Hairdressers Federation

The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association

The Cafe Life Association

The Horticultural Trades Association

The National Federation of Meat and Food Traders