The Mayor must support small businesses to boost the West Yorkshire economic recovery

  • 16 Apr 2021

The Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) has published a manifesto for the Mayoral Election being held on 6 May. The manifesto, which is being sent to the West Yorkshire Mayoral candidates, states that the post-COVID recovery in West Yorkshire will be led by small businesses. To be successful, the first directly elected Mayor for West Yorkshire must support small businesses. The manifesto outlines 14 ways the Mayor can do this and also calls for small businesses to be considered in all big economic decisions.

The FSB is the UK’s largest business organisation. In West Yorkshire there are over 4,500 FSB members. The FSB is a cross-party, non-partisan member-led organisation whose mission is to create the best environment for businesses to start up and thrive in.


Merewyn Sayers, an FSB West Yorkshire Area Leader, said: “The FSB manifesto shows that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) make up a staggering 99.6% of all business in West Yorkshire. Small businesses are the engine of the economy. They create jobs and growth right across West Yorkshire. After the financial crash in 2008, the bulk of recovery jobs came from the sector, and it’s vital it can now do so again as the country and the region moves into recovery mode.

“Our short Manifesto has a number of simple policy suggestions that would make a big difference to small businesses. But even more importantly we are calling for a Small Business Impact Assessment. This will mean that for every decision about businesses, the Mayor will consider not just how this helps the biggest businesses but also the smallest. Small businesses are too important to the West Yorkshire economy to be overlooked.”

Sharon Jandu, an FSB West Yorkshire Area Leader, added: “We want our new Mayor to understand that small businesses are at the heart of West Yorkshire communities. They are key to generating growth, creating jobs and providing vital local services. Small businesses support communities in the good times and as we have seen they also stick around when the going is not so good.


West Yorkshire needs an economy that creates inclusive and green growth. To do this it needs vibrant small businesses. This means encouraging and supporting entrepreneurs must be a priority for the Mayor.”

You can read the full report here