POLICY minister Oliver Letwin has paid a visit to businesses in Southsea this morning to hear of the work they are doing.
Mr Letwin, who is helping to write the Conservative manifesto for the general election, took a tour of shops in Marmion Road and Osborne Road before stopping off at the Southsea Coffee Company to chat to workers.
He was joined by Flick Drummond, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth South.
Mr Letwin said he felt encouraged by the response from Southsea businesses and believes they are ‘flourishing’.
‘There was one business which told me about a set of problems with parking locally, but the businesses in the area seem to be flourishing, with the general raise in the economy.
‘One business I spoke to has managed to maintain a steady flow of business through the recession.
‘That’s because they are more personal and have established a relationship with the customers.’
Mr Letwin said as part of his duties he is trying to ensure greater cash benefits are being given out to local businesses like ones in Portsmouth, and praised the benefits of the regional growth fund.
He also highlighted the importance of The News’ campaigns celebrating local businesses and high streets.
If the high street has a range of small businesses, you don’t just get the straight forward economic effect of more jobs and prosperity.
‘You also get a social benefit, and you can’t replicate that through Internet shopping or supermarket shopping.’