The Association of Convenience Stores, which represents over 33,500 local shops across the country, has released statistics on local shops and their role in serving communities.
In North East Bedfordshire there are 75 local shops employing 725 people. In normal times, Richard would have met with a number of local shop owners at a Parliamentary Reception to celebrate their positive impact on a local area.
Richard said: "I want to take the opportunity to thank all the convenient stores owners and their employees across the constituency for the great work they do at the heart of their communities. They are not only a critical part of the economy but many people have told me how their local shop went above and beyond to help vulnerable customers during the pandemic this year."