This focuses on the organisation’s new #ibacksmallbusiness campaign.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Brighton & Hove’s economy so I was very pleased to attend to make sure that concerns put to me by constituency businesses were included in the discussion.
I was also delighted to become one of the FSB's parliamentary champions, and will continue to do all I can to support small and micro businesses in Brighton & Hove.
The manifesto covers some issues that already have a high profile in our city.
For example, it recognises the importance of universal digital connectivity, referring to this as “the fourth utility”. Following on from our successful bid for money to improve digital infrastructure, including access to ultrafast broadband, Brighton & Hove's leadership as a major centre for creative and digital businesses looks set to grow still further.
It also calls for a complete ban on energy rollover contracts, which would build on the commitment I won from energy suppliers to give small businesses the choice to opt out of contracts each year.
The manifesto calls for the temporary doubling of small business rate relief to be made permanent, echoing my call for the scheme to be broadened. This would benefit an additional 500-600 businesses in our city, including many social enterprises.
These measures, alongside others that I’m working on with the local business community, such as the call to reduce VAT on tourism and support for apprenticeships, would make a real difference to constituency businesses.
The FSB manifesto is here
I’m keen to hear what Brighton Pavilion SMEs think about this document so do get in touch with any thoughts and feedback.
Image: Caroline with Lord Brett McLean, FSB East Sussex Region Policy Chairman