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Summer Reception at Westminster

“If FSB didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it,” those were the words of Small Business Minister Andrew Griffiths MP to Mike Cherry, Martin McTague and the hundreds of guests at the FSB Chairman’s Reception, on July 2, hosted by the Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG. 

The event, which is FSB’s seminal annual political event of the calendar, was a triumph. It took place in the historic Cholmondeley Room at the House of Lords and attracted over 200 invited Peers, Members of Parliament and other key policy makers and stakeholders.

The Small Business Minister had spoken briefly following a welcome from the Baroness and keynote speeches from FSB Chair Mike Cherry; the Chair of the Commons Treasury Select Committee Nicky Morgan MP; and the Chair of the Commons BEIS Select Committee Rachel Reeves MP.

Mike said, “It’s an important time for the small business community to gather. We face twin challenges: an economy where small businesses are pulling their weight, but where too many – particularly the growing number of self-employed men and women - aren’t give the help they need.

“And, a situation where the inevitable political tensions around Brexit threaten to take the focus away from the domestic challenges FSB members are being faced with.”

Mike spoke about the challenges businesses face, both old and new, and said these require urgent action from Government, bigger business and other friends of small businesses in the room.

Both Morgan and Reeves took the opportunity to pay tribute to FSB in their speeches.

Nicky Morgan MP said, “I’d like to pay tribute to the FSB for their tireless campaigning on the Staircase Tax, and I’m pleased that the Chancellor listened.”

Rachel Reeves MP said, “By the time of the next General Election, there’s likely to be more working in self-employed than in whole of the public sector. We need to do more to make sure they have the same rights [as public sector workers]”

The atmosphere in the room was so full of a sense of one-ness, and, one guest commented, “FSB has brought a sense of fun to the House, and really got everyone on board with doing more for small businesses and the self-employed. Bravo.”