A delegation of small business owners from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), led by national chairman Mike Cherry and policy director Martin McTague, has met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP in Downing Street.
With business confidence continuing to fall, the members urged the Chancellor to focus on policies which will help to boost productivity and growth.
Gordon Millward, FSB regional chairman said: ““Small businesses are the key to driving economic growth and prosperity across the nations and regions of the UK. While small firms are proving resilient, we want to see some important decisions made by this new Government, and the new Chancellor is clearly going to be a major player.
“FSB members raised important issues facing their businesses directly with the Chancellor, on how to take forward the Government’s agenda around skills, infrastructure, regional investment, and tax. They also raised the importance of the Treasury under his leadership now delivering the business rates reforms announced in the March budget 2016.
“Members want to see progress made to better develop leadership and management skills in small firms, as we believe this will unlock greater potential for innovation and high performance – and indeed productivity. Shovel-ready infrastructure projects should be given the green light, and that ranges from flagship UK projects but also smaller-scale investments that have a huge impact on local communities.”
Nathalie Christmann-Cooper, FSB member and business owner, said: “It was brilliant, through FSB, to get the chance to come and speak to those in power – and show the Chancellor the potential impact of some big decisions we really want to see taken. I raised the importance of providing certainty to businesses and the current difficulties around securing alternative finance.
“We need to make it easier for small businesses and start-ups inparticular, to access the right kind of finance to enable growth.”
The delegation want to see announcements at Party Conferences and in the Autumn Statement that back small business, creating a simplified and modern tax system for the 21st century – one that enables growth, promotes business activity and makes it easy to set yourself up in business.