Every MP returning to Westminster today will, for the first time, be given comprehensive information about the economic and social value of local shops specific to their constituency.

This initiative by the Association of Convenience Stores has been unveiled ahead of ACS’ Heart of the Community Conference taking place next month.

Using data from the recently published Local Shop Report, ACS has sent tailored cards to all 632 MPs in England, Scotland and Wales highlighting the significance of the local shop sector as they return to Parliament this week.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “This is the first time that we’ve been able to give MPs a definitive breakdown of the local shop sector in their constituencies, and allows us to demonstrate the essential contribution that local shops are making to the economy and to communities across the UK.”

The constituency cards contain information about the number of local shops in a constituency as well as a breakdown of the jobs created by the convenience sector. As well as the total number of jobs, the cards highlight the number of women, workers aged 16-24 and workers aged 60+ in stores. The cards also contain information about the wider regional picture, showing the high level of first time investment in each region as well as information about the ethnic background of each region.

“These cards demonstrate to MPs that convenience retailing is an engine room of entrepreneurial investment and growth providing vital jobs and services in spite of the tough economic climate,” added Lowman. “We hope that these cards will help us to identify a new batch of MPs willing to champion the importance of local shops in Parliament. We will be providing a chance for retailers to meet directly with MPs at our annual Heart of the Community Conference in November.”