Having been in business for many years before entering politics, I’m acutely aware of how important small and medium-sized businesses are to the local and national economy.
They have powered Britain’s recovery from Labour’s recession and are responsible for nearly half the job creation in the UK.
So I’m delighted that the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, in partnership with the Berkshire Business Growth Hub, is offering a free business advice session with a qualified business adviser to small businesses of 50 employees or fewer which have been trading for at least 12 months.
Supporting businesses is vital to drive the growth that this country needs, and I am pleased that our excellent local council are on board with the help of Cllr Jack Rankin, cabinet member for economic development and property, and the rest of the team.
At a national level, corporation tax has already been cut to 20 per cent and will be cut again to 19 per cent in April 2017 and 17 per cent in April 2020. This will benefit over a million companies large and small. The Employment Allowance which cuts employer's National Insurance bills and makes it cheaper for them to take on staff will also increase to £3,000 this year.
These policies come from a Conservative Government that is on the side of young people, the lower paid and people who start their own businesses or take up an apprenticeship or, indeed, give something back to the community by taking on an apprentice.
760,000 more businesses were created during the last Parliament which is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of so many Great Britons.
But the Conservative Government will not stop there. With the Government’s determination to go further and back small businesses to the hilt I know that these figures will continue to grow.
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Bosses at Fenwick, in King Edward Court, announced yesterday (Monday) that due to the ‘ravages of online shopping and the underperformance of the business’ the store is no longer viable.