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Grantham and Stamford MP Gareth Davies says Government is committed to supporting small businesses

It has been said that Britain is a nation of shopkeepers, and this spirit of entrepreneurialism runs through every high street across our country, writes Stamford and Grantham MP Gareth Davies (Con).

As Member of Parliament, I have the pleasure of engaging with the full range of small businesses that operate in our area, from shops in our town centres to local manufacturers.

Also known as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), these businesses are often run by families and individuals; filling local shops, selling local produce, and providing employment for local people.

MP Gareth Davies
MP Gareth Davies

Across our country, there are more than 5.5 million SMEs, making up 99.9% of all British businesses, employing around 16.5 million people, and turning over £2.4 trillion annually.

Given their national importance, you would be right to assume that support for SMEs is a priority for the Government. In fact, in my ministerial role as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, SMEs play a major part as I lead the Treasury’s plans to boost growth, productivity, and investment across our country.

Recent data shows that in our area alone there are over 368,000 SMEs, forming the heart of our local economy. So as a proud local MP I was excited at the end of last month to launch, in my ministerial capacity, £400 million of new public investment through the British Business Bank known as Midlands Engine Investment Fund II.

The original Midlands Engine Investment Fund has already supported 739 businesses, created more than 4,000 jobs, and boosted our region’s productivity by 70% since 2017. This follow-up fund will unlock additional private funding to help small businesses across the Midlands to start up, scale up, or stay ahead.

Further reflecting the significance of small businesses, I was fortunate just this week to answer a number of questions on this subject from both sides of the House of Commons.

In my role, alongside the Chancellor and ministerial colleagues from the Treasury, I was at the dispatch box in the House of Commons for Treasury Oral Questions. Happening once every five sitting weeks, this is a key opportunity for MPs to raise local topics and scrutinise Treasury policy.

As well as referencing our work to support investment, I was pleased to be able to highlight the significant support to reduce costs for small businesses, both in our constituency and elsewhere. This includes a business rates support package worth £4.3 billion over five years which provides 75% relief to businesses such as cafes, pubs, and shops, as well as an increase in the VAT registration threshold to £90,000.

Behind every business is someone who had an idea, saw it through, stuck it out and made it work. At the end of the day, businesses are people – they are the faces, the families and the stories that are the lifeblood of all our communities.

Whether driving policy at a national level or doing what I can to promote local entrepreneurs in our area, I look forward to continuing to support them in their endeavours.

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