Your regional team has been busy over the past few weeks promoting to the local media and policy-makers the key needs of small businesses in the months and years ahead.
We have focused particularly on the skills agenda: I spoke to local radio about the importance of ensuring that, following Brexit, our region’s businesses were still able to access the talent they needed in order to grow, but also that the new arrangements – whenever they are implemented – are not bureaucratically onerous. This is an issue that I know from speaking to members is a real concern.
Ahead of June’s election, we also heard much concern from members about the rising cost of doing business; indeed FSB research showed that this was the issue that firms in this region wanted the new government to prioritise, with the delivery of a good deal on Brexit and infrastructure investment also important.
Our research also showed that businesses in this region were the most likely in England to be concerned about mobile and broadband connectivity, with over one in five identifying this as an issue. This is why our election manifesto said it was essential that policy-makers took into account the needs of rural firms.
During the new Parliament, the FSB will be engaging with local MPs and councillors in order to ensure that the voices of the region’s small businesses are heard and that they are given the policy framework they need to flourish.