High streets minister Andrew Percy has welcomed new guidance for convenience store retailers on engaging with different local decision makers in their area.

The guidance, released by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), aims to support convenience retailers in understanding the shift toward more local decision making, give them the tools to identify who the most important people are to engage with locally, and learn new practical ways to engage locally based on other retailers’ experiences.

Percy said: “Small businesses are vital to individual communities, they boost growth and create jobs so it is important that they are working with local decision makers. I urge convenience store owners to take a look at this guide and get their voices heard to benefit their local areas.”

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “With more decisions being made at a local level, it’s essential that retailers make their voices heard to councils, local police forces and other authorities.

“Convenience stores are one of the services on the high street that have the most positive impact on their local area, and there are over 50,000 stores across the UK so it’s important that they are an integral part of the local decision-making process.”

The guide features information and tips on how to engage with the following authorities and community groups:

• Local Councils

• Police Forces

• Police and Crime Commissioners

• Mayors

• Combined Authorities

• Devolution Deals

• Business Improvement Districts

• Town Teams

• Local Enterprise Partnerships

• Growth Hubs

• Local Charities

• Schools

• Local Media

• Sports Teams

• Community Events

Lowman added: “Our aim for this guide is to help retailers to overcome barriers to local engagement. Many of the activities that retailers already take part in, whether it be raising money for local charities, sponsoring their local sports team or providing funding for local events are excellent examples of engagement. This guide allows retailers to show what they do, both in the community and for the local economy to local decision makers and establish themselves at the heart of the community.”