• Saturday, April 13, 2024


Seema Malhotra MP and Labour Leader Keir Starmer hold talks with local businesses in Greater Birmingham

“The success of businesses that employ so many in local communities is vital for the levelling up of our towns and cities,” said Seema Malhotra MP.

Labour Leader Keir Starmer speaks during the business roundtable.

By: Pramod Thomas

The British Chambers of Commerce hosted Labour leader Keir Starmer and shadow business and consumers minister Seema Malhotra MP for a roundtable at the Birmingham Energy Innovation Centre, a statement said.

During the event on Thursday (6), which was supported by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, the leaders heard from local businesses on the impact of the recent mini-budget, and shared the next Labour government’s plans for supporting business growth.

Over 15 business owners and leaders from across Greater Birmingham raised concerns about what is needed from the government to support small businesses to be more successful.

Seema Malhotra said: “Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy, making up over 99 per cent of businesses and employing over three fifths of people working in the private sector. In the West Midlands, 2.35 million people are employed in the private sector. Many of these are also Asian family run businesses like the family business in which I grew up.”

“Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is serious about building a strong partnership with business that is pro-business and pro-worker. No government can achieve its goals without working with business. We want the needs of SMEs to be heard at the heart of government,” she added.

“We know the success of businesses that employ so many in local communities is vital for the levelling up of our towns and cities. That’s why we will support them to grow and be successful”.

The roundtable took place a week after Labour launched its new industrial strategy at its conference in Liverpool. The strategy set a clear direction for how Labour will work across sectors to boost economic growth, investment, resilience, and employment rights.

The opposition party is also undertaking a consultation on supporting start-ups, announced by the Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves in June.

The topics discussed include business concerns about the rising cost of doing business, the impact of the drop in the value of the pound on trade, consumer confidence and a new skills strategy to help fill vacancies and to support access to the jobs of the future.

Participants welcomed Labour’s commitment to business rates reform and for a fairer business taxation, the statement added.

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