Growing the economy is the government’s number one priority.
I have said it before and I will say it again – small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy.
It therefore follows I am determined to do all I can to ensure the government provides a flexible framework within which they can thrive both now and in the future.
This constituency is home to some very notable exporters – CI Precision, Lascar Electronics and Naim Audio to name but a few.
Where a small business has a cutting edge product with the potential to capture the attention of the global marketplace, it is vital for politicians to do all they can to remove the barriers which prevent them from reaching their full potential.
To that end, I have been pleased to take the lead in organising a Wiltshire-wide export seminar on June 22.
Working with Tony Quinn of the Federation of Small Businesses in Salisbury and with the UK office for Trade and Investment (UKTI), I hope we can deliver a practical and inspiring event where exporters can discuss common issues and share tried and tested solutions.
Reducing the risks to small businesses associated with taking on employees is a key way to foster confidence and it comes up time and time again at business networking events.
That is why I welcome the thrust of the Beecroft proposals which seek to give employers more rights to part company with employees who are not pulling their weight – something my conversations with business people suggest will not imperil the jobs of good workers but will unshackle employers and make them much more likely to recruit.
Successful small businesses and small business people know how to look after their employees through good times and bad and life-changing events.
By the same token, an employee has a reciprocal responsibility to work hard, providing dependability and responsiveness to economic conditions so rewards are brought to both him and his employer.
On a separate but related note, I am looking forward to demonstrating my support for Salisbury’s excellent independent retailers and backing the forthcoming Independents’ Week.
These are tough times but announcements this week give hope that government is taking helpful action to help set the conditions required for growth and recovery.