Local business issues discussed

17th May 2018

Local MP, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, recently chaired a well-attended meeting between members of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the constituency’s largest banks.

Sam Holliday on behalf of the FSB updated everyone present on the latest findings of the FSB’s recent research that only six in ten small firms that apply for credit are successful, the lowest since Q4 2015.

After this a number of topical issues were discussed including the availability of superfast broadband, closure of local bank branches and the consequential reductions in ATMs. The banks made it clear that they were more than happy to lend money to viable propositions and they are very willing to help draft loan proposals so that they are acceptable.

Sir Geoffrey raised the important issue of financial and business education in schools. Many banks have well-tailored education programmes which they will offer for free. The problem is getting access to schools in the first place as headteachers already find the curriculum too congested.

On broadband, Sir Geoffrey has personally pressed the Digital Secretary, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, only this week, to be more ambitious on the 95% target and that the Government should be aiming for 100% broadband coverage. Additionally, Sir Geoffrey pressed for all new developments to have broadband access included in planning, BT needing to convert copper to fibre and where this infrastructure is installed every single consumer who could benefit must be notified and consumers should be alerted when their existing contract is coming to an end and told that they should shop around for local tariffs.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown meets with local bankers and the FSB

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