Christine Emmett has a degree in Economics, is a member of William Hague’s Northern Transport Commission, Vice Chairman of the Biz Club and runs her own company advising on major infrastructure projects. She is on the approved list of Conservative parliamentary candidates.
The owner of a coffee bar in my local town donated £4,000 to the high school so that they could buy Astroturf for the football field.
The Conservatives would be well advised to look after businesses such as this. They are the backbone of local towns and villages. Their owners do not need the title ‘social entrepreneur’ to understand their responsibilities, support communities, provide employment and yes, even set standards of probity and integrity. Small communities have a way of monitoring performance more effectively than any quality system. No-one re- visits the hairdresser who has a reputation for dying your hair purple (unless, of course, that’s your wish!)
According to the Federation of Small Businesses, there are 6,000 such businesses in each constituency. Over half of all Britain’s employees work for the 4 million small- and medium-sized businesses. To win their trust, we must convince them that we understand them and will support the survival and development of their business.
Small businesses are bearing the brunt of recent problems in the economy. At a small business awards ceremony last week the talk was of worse to come:
- The owner of an antiques shop built his business up over the past 10 years and has been burgled 8 times recently. The police have still not found the culprits.
- Last year a firm of solicitors gave its staff a stark choice – take 30% cut in salary or redundancy. Most chose to stay.
So, what can we offer?