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Three main parties to battle it out for the small business vote at London hustings event – London Business News | Londonlovesbusiness.com

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Representatives from the three main political parties will go head-to-head to battle it out for the votes of the UK’s small business community this month.

Minister of State in the Department for Business and Trade Kevin Hollinrake MP, for the Conservative Party, Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Trade, Jonathan Reynolds, for the Labour Party and Sarah Olney, Treasury and Business and Industrial Strategy spokesperson, for the Liberal Democrats, will take part in a ‘Question Time-style’ live debate on June 17 in central London in front of an audience of entrepreneurs.

The event is a partnership between Enterprise Nation, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and offers the opportunity for the three main parties to outline their policies for small business.

Tina McKenzie, MBE, policy chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Small firms – from hairdressers to adult social care providers – are at the heart of every community in the UK. They make up a powerful voting bloc and are a strong, motivated and vocal part of the electorate.

“In the election, they are looking for candidates who really understand the issues they are facing and have strong, bold strategies that support growth, create jobs and build a brighter, economic future.”

Emma Jones, CBE, founder and CEO of Enterprise Nation said, “The start-up and small business community represents a significant and influential constituency for the next government, so it’s important they get the opportunity to hear directly from the parties on how they will deal with the matters they care about.

“They want to know how the political parties will be handling issues like getting paid on time, business rates and short-term leases on high street shops, access to affordable office space, technology, investment and exporting. Entrepreneurs have a winning mindset. Securing their vote is an incredibly important step in the fight to reach Number 10.”

Iain Wright, ICAEW managing director, reputation and influence said, “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and this event – with its focus on enterprise and growth – will give a good indicator of how the small business community is feeling about their current and future prospects and the priorities they want MPs to have in the next Parliament.

“Our members run or advise small businesses, from the first spark of an idea, nurturing growth and supporting professionalisation to gain investment and scale, but frequently tell us that starting to trade is not as easy as it should be, and that vital finance doesn’t always flow where needed.

“To ensure the UK is the best place to start, run and grow a business, the next government needs to build an economy that is productive, sustainable and resilient at its core. A more competitive tax system, greater investment in skills and investment and more proportionate and better targeted regulation should help to provide that platform for success.”

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