Late payments, business rates, transport and infrastructure and the rising cost of doing businesses, are just some of the issues discussed at a roundtable with Southend businesses, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Labour parliamentary candidate Ashley Dalton.
The meeting, which took place at the Park Inn Palace Hotel in Southend-on-Sea, included representatives from small independent businesses, large chain retailers and the Victoria and Royals shopping centres.
FSB Area Leader and Regional Chair, David Barnes said: “FSB welcomes every opportunity to speak to local businesses to find out about the issues that affect them, and we were pleased to meet with Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, Ashley Dalton and local businesses to discuss the policy issues that matter to them the most.
“FSB has campaigned on behalf of high street businesses for many years and our recent high streets campaign embodied many of the issues that businesses in Southend are currently facing. This includes high business rates forcing closure, late payments, the lack of policing, the need for more investment in public spaces and much needed improvements to public transport.
“While the Government announced a series of measures which should help small businesses in the recent budget there are still a number of actions that need to be taken to support businesses to thrive and grow.
“There is still a need for changes which allow businesses greater access to financial products such as mortgages. The Government needs to bring the maternity allowance closer in line with Statutory Maternity Pay and introduce Paternity Pay and Adoption Pay for all eligible self-employed parents.
“The Government also needs to address discrepancies in the treatment of the self-employed and employees in terms of rights, benefits and financial products, including a Universal Credit system that is fit for purpose for the self-employed.”
FSB is a non-party political organisation, and meets regularly with politicians from across the political spectrum.