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Chairman’s Column

While all eyes were certainly on the General Election, many businesses in Liverpool City Region were just as focused on the vote for the new Metro Mayor.

I would like to repeat my congratulations to Steve Rotheram, sent in a recent letter, and look forward to working with him on behalf of our small business members. He has told FSB he wants to be the most business friendly Metro Mayor. With his friend and colleague, Andy Burnham, now Mayor of Greater Manchester, I hope we can look forward to real collaboration in putting small businesses first, and also some meat on the bones of the Northern Powerhouse initiative to boot.

Congratulations must also go to the two Warrington-based businesses, Learning Heroes and WomenZone, who bagged three gongs between them at our FSB & Worldpay UK Business Awards 2017. Our own FSB Merseyside, West Cheshire and Wigan Business Awards is now open and I would urge businesses across the region to consider nominating themselves – you never know!

Clearly Brexit remains one of the major issues of our time, but the national election showed us it is not the only one. From a business perspective, FSB made sure that key domestic concerns of the self-employed and small firms, including the debilitating tax regime and the scourge of late payment, were not forgotten. The surprising election result has created considerable uncertainty but FSB’s voice is a constant reminder of the importance of small businesses, something we will continue to press home in Westminster and across every UK region, including this one.

In addition, it is important that we use the power of our considerable membership to help firms do business with each other. That is why we have launched FSB Connect Networking – why not come along to your local monthly session and see for yourself what it’s all about?