Alan Campbell MP: Supporting small businesses all year round

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The vast majority of businesses in our country are SMEs. Small business is the beating heart of our economy. They will be the key to the revival of our high streets. It’s not just about strong and successful businesses, it’s about strong and secure communities.

The fact is many small businesses feel neglected by government. It’s not the government of the day that makes a business successful, it’s the hard work and determination of founders and leaders that builds success. But Government can provide the business environment that means businesses thrive.

Labour has a plan for small businesses. We will legislate to tackle late payments unlocking £20 billion in unpaid invoices. Business rates as they exist don’t work for many small businesses so they need to be replaced by a fairer system for bricks and mortar businesses. Businesses also need a safe environment in which to operate which means more police and powers to tackle antisocial behaviour and give councils the power to take over empty shops. And public contracts must give SMEs a fairer choice with guaranteed shortlisting for smaller firms.

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SMEs like all businesses need access to export markets, require skilled workers and need to access secure affordable clean energy. The businesses I talk to tell me time and time again that getting enough people to fill job vacancies is their most worrying challenge. We need to harness the strength of the business community and the power of government. But we also need to play our part, not only on Small Business Saturday, but actually all year round.

Alan Campbell is Labour MP for Tynemouth

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