Seema Malhotra MP, the Member of Parliament for Feltham and Heston and Shadow Skills Minister, has brought together small businesses across Feltham and Heston for Small Business Saturday, an annual day that seeks to highlight the success of small businesses and encourage people to support local businesses.
Before the discussion opened, Tracy Aust, the Principal of West Thames College, gave a tour of the facilities of the Feltham Skills + Logistics Centre, a campus of West Thames College where the roundtable was held.
The roundtable, which was organised by the MP in partnership with the Edge Foundation, an independent education charity, covered the cost of doing business crisis, employer engagement in the education system and post-16 training, skills and development. Business from sectors from social care to health participated, as well as Leader of the Council, Councillor Shantanu Rajawat, and Cabinet Member for Health, Councillor Samia Chaudhary.
It comes as Labour launches its plan for small business, including bringing banks back to the high street through expanding banking hubs, legislating to ensure invoices are paid on time, patrols to tackle anti-social behaviour on the high street and powers for communities to take over empty shops.
Seema Malhotra MP said:
“Having grown up above my parents’ shop in Hounslow, I know that small businesses are the beating heart of our community. But I also remember what it was like to live life on the edge – we struggled to make ends meet and we were always overdrawn at the end of the month.”
“Government should create an environment for businesses to succeed but instead small businesses have faced crisis after crisis – a supply chain crisis, a petrol crisis, the energy crisis, a cost of living crisis and a mortgage crisis, to name a few.”
“I’m delighted that Labour has put forward a serious plan to give small business the backing it needs – a plan which includes a new direction for skills, which I lead on in the Labour Party, so that colleges and training providers are more closely connected to local skills need.”