Friday, 11 July 2014

FSB delegation visits No 10

On 24 June I was invited to be part of a delegation from the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) asked to a  meeting at 10 Downing Street. Originally we were supposed to meet David Cameron but the verdict of the phone-hacking trial of his previous special adviser, Andy Coulson, had been announced that day, so understandably he was otherwise engaged.
Nevertheless, we had an insightful meeting and it was certainly a useful platform to voice some of the concerns and recommendations of our members. During the meeting we called for :
  • Switch to growth finance rather than just start-ups
  • Boost to International Festival for Business
  • Better tasking of Ambassadors overseas for UK businesses wanting to trade in those markets
  • Improved links between civil servants and business
  • UKTI and UKEF awareness needs to be tackled, but the services they offer are pretty good, including in the regions
  • Business services staff in UKTI and elsewhere should have a business background
  • Their concern to be noted about a shift of resource from small to medium-sized companies in UKTI
Daniel Korski, who is David Cameron's Special Advisor for Enterprise, confirmed that all these points had been taken board and would be discussed at Cabinet.