Several Bromley-based FSB members met with entrepreneur Lord Harris of Peckham on 14 January to bring burning local issues to the table that affect them and their businesses.
Lord Harris, carpet retailer, entrepreneur and sponsor of the Harris Federation multi-academy trust, invited the businesses to a roundtable discussion at his Orpington Harris Ventures office. Issues raised included: business rates, infrastructure, transport, planning & development, late payments, fast fibre broadband, skills & education, high street development and business funding opportunities.
Lord Harris wanted to gauge what the important issues are for small businesses in his local area in advance of meetings he has scheduled with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Home Secretary later this month.
Speaking at the event, Lord Harris said: “Small businesses are the life-blood of our local and national economy. There is much that can be done to improve facilities and services available to them and I want to use my influence to help address some of these issues.
“For one thing, reducing rates for start-up businesses will give them a better chance of survival. I will be addressing this and the other issued raised at my meetings with Government later this month.”
The roundtable was arranged by Chandra Sharma, owner of Tangent Office Resources of Orpington and Bromley Borough Action Group representative for FSB London, following a FSB Skills 30:30 event at Harris Academy Beckenham last October, at which Lord Harris spoke and at which local businesses discussed career aspirations with Academy pupils.
Chandra Sharma said: “We’d like to thank Lord Harris for giving us, FSB members, the opportunity to meet with him and discuss these vital business issues. As a successful entrepreneur, he understands what difficulties small businesses face and we are grateful to him for opening up a useful and productive dialogue and for representing our issues to Government.”
FSB member, Jane Rogers of Jane Rogers PR who attended the roundtable event said: “It was a great opportunity to meet with Lord Harris and other local businesses to bring some important topics to the table that affect us all. We look forward to hearing the outcome of Lord Harris’ meetings with the Chancellor and Home Secretary.”
FSB London is working in partnership with all London local authorities to help them become better small business partners and advocates for small businesses; and is pleased to be actively supporting small businesses within the London Borough of Bromley area.