Last week I was asked to give the key note speech at the Federation of Small Business (FSB) Annual Dinner for the Lancashire and Cumbria region. Having worked very closely with the FSB since elected I was very pleased to be able to accept.
One of my grandfather’s was a small businessman and my husband runs two small businesses, so I feel this is something close to my heart for personal reasons. But it is also something so incredibly important for our local economy. When you spend money locally, it is more likely to stay local. If you shop with a local business, rather than on a multinational online retailer, the person you buy from will also be living in our area, shopping in our area and eating in our area. One really easy way to support our local high streets is to use them!
This Saturday, 3rd December, is Small Business Saturday. The idea came over from the US but it’s as applicable here as anywhere. In the run up to Christmas think about where you are buying from, and if you can, support our local small businesses.
Meanwhile, back at the FSB annual dinner also addressed the news on business investment figures which show a 1.6% decline in investment over the year. This bleak news reinforces that now is a challenging time to be running your own business. This fall in business investment shows that even before the EU referendum, Government was failing to support the investment small businesses. I believe they are now heaping error on error with their shambolic handling of Brexit and refusing to guarantee the full, tariff-free access to the single market to support jobs and the economy. I will be speaking out on this in Westminster and making sure the message is clear that whilst the country voted to leave the EU, it did not vote to make itself poorer.