Britain's economy relies upon its small businesses and self-employed workers. As a successful entrepreneur, I understand the challenges that small and medium-sized businesses face and will take action to ensure they are successful too. You can see some of my business initiatives listed below.
As an MP I want to continue my local work, but also help in Parliament. For example, the Conservative Manifesto committed to a review of business rates and rebalancing the burden away from local shops and towards online retailers, who are taking a growing share of trade. This gives me a real opportunity to use my business experience to argue the case for local shops and see that the legislation reduces the business rates burden on our local retailers.
It is vitally important that we support our local firms, both to build thriving high street communities but also to help the national situation. The only way we can build a strong economy, eliminate the deficit and generate tax revenues for investment in public services is through growing employment. Since small businesses are responsible for most job creation, it’s crucial that we encourage this sector to create growth and provide jobs for the next generation.
I know from my experience what companies need to flourish – lower taxes, a skilled workforce, and access to capital – and as an MP I would use my expertise and contacts to help our local business people. Below you can read of some of the initiatives I have run to help new and existing businesses.
I'm give my time as a volunteer in a number of ways that help local people start up new businesses and create jobs:
- I am an Ambassador for Kent Youth Support Trust, based in Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey, which provides low cost office space and free mentoring to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds looking to start a business
- I worked on a number of projects to help the excellent Business Launchpad charity in South London, which helps 18-30 year olds become self-employed; I won funding for a new grant fund which will give small grants to young people who need a little cash to get their idea started
- I mentored the long-term unemployed at the Shaw Trust charity in London, helping them realise their goal of self-employment
- I use my business experience to advise a number of new companies in Kent and London that need help on various topics.
If you would like help with starting or growing a business, please do get in touch with me and I'll be happy to help.
Love Your Local Initiative
A key part of every business community is the independent shops that line the high streets and make it such a diverse and interesting place to live. That's why I ran the annual Love Your Local initiative in Tooting, celebrating local shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs. By helping these businesses connect with local residents this initiative will help them thrive in the years to come.
The 2017 competition saw over 1,500 votes cast by local residents and you can read about the winners here.