General Election 2015: SMEs pledge support to Conservatives

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MORE than 450 SME business owners in the West Midlands have backed the Conservatives’ long-term economic plan.

They have joined a list of over 5,000 SMEs owners across the country urging that the Tories be allowed to continue the work they have started.

In an open letter they warn that a change now would be far too risky and would undo all the work of the last five years.

The letter comes just days after George Osborne pledged to create 160,000 new jobs for the region, aided by measures such as expansion of Birmingham’s Enterprise Zone.

Former Birmingham City MD, Karren Brady, now the Conservative Party’s Small Business Ambassador, said: “In the past five years the Conservatives have done a huge amount to help small businesses. Red tape was suffocating them – Conservatives have cut it to the tune of £10bn a year. Jobs taxes were making it harder to take people on – Conservatives have cut National Insurance Contributions by up to £2,000. 385,000 small firms are now paying no business rates at all because the Conservatives doubled rate relief.”

She said all this risked being put in jeopardy should the Conservatives fail to be re-elected.

Joel Blake, founder of BizBritain – a start-up loan supplier to new businesses, said the new Government had to help entrepreneurs.

“I think it’s worth talking about the value of having a Government which understands and backs enterprise,” he said.

He said there were two initiatives which were of significance. Firstly, the last Government had given its full backing to Start-Up Britain, a national enterprise campaign founded by eight UK entrepreneurs to make the recovery an enterprise-led one.

“I was asked to be the Start-Up Britain ambassador for Birmingham back in 2011 and I was happy to accept as the campaign is strongly aligned with my own belief in helping people grow through business,” he said.

The second point he said that should be highlighted was the help the coalition had given in providing entrepreneurs with access to finance.

“In 2012, David Cameron launched the Start-Up Loans scheme, providing low cost start-up funds to help people with great ideas but no assets get their company off the ground. This scheme has been phenomenal, helping to launch over 26,000 businesses in the UK and lending over £140m in just three years.

“These schemes need to continue, so the people in Birmingham can be confident that if they want to start a business there’s a wealth of knowledge, support and finance for them to tap into.

“To keep this revolution on track we need people in Westminster who understand and appreciate enterprise, who can manage the economy to a jobs-led recovery and who will back entrepreneurs with concrete action.”