Medway Lib Dems call for more support for small businesses

Fining big suppliers who fail to pay up on time and improving broadband access are at the heart of a plan to help small businesses in [area].

Medway Liberal Democrats have used Small Business Saturday (December 5) to set out the five point plan.

They said more needs to be done to support the 2760 small and micro business owners in Gillingham & Rainham, including ensuring they have access to a well-educated, highly-skilled workforce, and access to finance to help them grow.

The plan aims to support those ‘small for good’ businesses that are the backbone of local communities, as well as the ‘small for now’ businesses, with big ambitions to grow rapidly.

The five point plan includes:

  1. Give the new Small Business Commissioner real teeth to tackle late payments by big businesses, including fining big suppliers who regularly fail to pay on time.
  2. Boost access to finance by requiring diversity within the financial sector, including encouraging new online lenders and supporting a regional banking network.
  3. Ensuring businesses get the skills they need, by investing rather than cutting Further Education, supporting apprenticeships and creating new training programmes.
  4. Ensure businesses have access to high quality broadband by investing now in a real high speed universal services to every part of the country.
  5. Support small businesses with big ambitions to scale up, by encouraging a new generation of venture capitalists to invest in good ideas and promote business growth through equity financing rather than debt.

Paul Chaplin, Parliamentary Spokesperson, said:

“Small and micro businesses make up 96.8% of small businesses in Gillingham & Rainham  They are the backbone of our community to employ thousands of people and helping our local economy to grow.

“Small Business Saturday is a chance to say ‘thank you’ for all the work small businesses owners do for our area, but the fact is that we need to do more to support them in return.

“All too often small businesses owners end up paying themselves below the minimum wage in order to keep staff on.  They work incredibly hard and sacrifice an awful lot, the least the Government can do is help them to succeed.

“The Liberal Democrats five  point plan for small businesses is about ensuring we support small business both now and in the future.  It is vital for [constituency] and the whole of the UK economy.”

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