Small businesses are the beating heart of our economy, breathing life into our high streets and delivering services that make our lives easier.
What truly makes small businesses great is the people behind them, putting their all into serving local people, with the money they make going back into the local economy.
Honest, hard-working people, who make our community a brighter place.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting local small business from across my constituency through my annual Local Business Awards.
From cafes, hair and beauty salons, pubs, restaurants, tradespeople, we are blessed with some fantastic small businesses here in Tameside.
Particularly during the run up to Christmas, I would urge everyone to think about where they shop and if you can, shop local.
When you do, you’re not just generating revenue, you are supporting hard working families who will give back to our local community, not take from it.
Every small business has their own story to tell, their own unique set of challenges, and their own vision for the future.
But what they all have in common is a determination to succeed.
Sadly, too many small businesses in Tameside and across the country are being badly let down by this government, and not given the respect their sheer economic weight deserves.
Time after time, the ambition, ingenuity, and determination shown by our small businesses is simply not being matched by a government who could really learn a thing or two from them.
We can’t afford 13 more years of the Conservatives, which is why I’m proud that my friend and fellow Tameside MP Jonny Reynolds, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, has announced Labour’s plan for Small Businesses.
It’s a plan that will respect the value of small businesses, creating the certainty and long-term environment so many are crying out for.
Labour will legislate to tackle late payments, with tough new laws to make sure small businesses get paid on time.
We will scrap business rates, for a fairer system to reduce the burden on high street premises and not stand in the way of firms who want to expand.
High streets will be revitalised, by tackling anti-social behaviour through introducing new town centre police patrols.
It’s a plan that will deliver a fundamental reset for small businesses in our community, replacing Conservative chaos with a decade of national renewal under Labour.