East Lothian Courier – 13 October 2022


I was to go to the cinema last Friday to see a friends partner’s movie but that fell through as the Edinburgh Filmhouse went into administration. Partly it seems through reduced patronage post Covid but also through the increasing costs of energy. It won’t be the only business or venue to shut as the support on offer from the UK Government’s entirely inadequate.

I saw a comment on social media that 60% of businesses operating in the voluntary sector were on a knife edge. The Filmhouse closure’s a disaster for the many staff but it’s a spectre haunting many whether voluntary groups or small businesses.

That’ll damage our economy but also undermine our culture and society. I’m a movie fan but prefer European or UK movies to Hollywood blockbusters. Each to their own I know, but it’ll be come harder to see the alternative films if the only cinemas open are large chains showing the same movies in every city, whether the UK or the USA. The best efforts of cinema clubs will face the same challenges as the Filmhouse in keeping afloat.

The same is in danger of happening in other aspects of our society. The small local pub goes to the wall and all that survives are large uniform chains. It could be the same for coffee, as the local café closes and all that remains open are the McDonalds or Starbucks. That’s why more must be done to protect small local businesses not just leave the large combines to takeover.

It’s more than just energy bills as action needs taken to protect small local businesses from being rolled over by Amazon or other large multinationals. The local shops and businesses pay taxes and create jobs locally. They need protected and the corporate giants need taxed appropriately.

Online has great advantages and is here to stay. But there must be a level playing field and that means taxing the corporates and supporting out local shops and businesses. It’s not hard and Amazons tax has been paltry.

The High Streets been under threat for a while it’s now situation critical.