This month Andi, our creative director was actually invited to attend an exclusive meeting held at 10 Downing Street to discuss how the government could help small businesses.
So what were we doing at Downing Street?
Andi met with the Prime Minister’s Business Engagement Manager, Niamh Mulholland, along with entrepreneurs from twenty other businesses from the North of England. The purpose of the mission was to tell Niamh about our business and provide one suggestion for the government that could help small businesses. There were many issues raised resulting in some useful suggestions, ranging from help with rates and covering living wage for staff, where wage bills had increased largely for small businesses.
Enterprise Nation, who organised and led the meeting, invited Andi to participate in discussions because of their previous experience and involvement in government support programmes with Business Growth Hub and Growth Accelerator.
Middle has benefited extensively from being involved in government support programmes over the last two years and was keen to share her views at the meeting. She raised questions about new funding and investment opportunities for small businesses wanting to grow now that the Growth Accelerator programme had ended. We were particularly interested in discussing the growth voucher scheme that recently ended.
We work primarily with businesses that have gone past the start-up phase and at are at a point in their business growth where a brand refresh, a digital overhaul and often back office systems have reached point where they must be improved in order to help the businesses scale smoothly. Small businesses often miss out on the huge boost they could receive from a well created digital presence and marketing strategy. Currently growth funding covers advice on “how” rather than “what”, so you could receive advice that tells you you need to improve your digital presence, but not the funds to do so. We felt it would be hugely beneficial to small business if they could spend this kind of funding directly on having those improvements made to their business, and companies like ourselves could help them to access this kind of support. Several of the other delegates expressed similar desires with the growth funding.
We left our suggestions in the hands of Niamh who will pass them on at the next policy meeting and we look forward to seeing any possible changes.