Led by Moose Marketing & PR’s Mark Owen, a delegation from the Gloucester branch of the Federation of Small Businesses travelled to Westminster to lobby MPs on the Government’s duty to support the small business community.
They met Gloucester Labour MP Parmjit Dhanda, Mark Prisk Conservative Shadow Minister for small Businesses, Richard Graham prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate for Gloucester and took time out for a guided tour of the ‘Mother of Parliaments’.
Mark Owen said: “There is no doubt that the current economic downturn has started to have a devastating effect on small businesses across the board and at long last the government is beginning to recognise this. “But it remains to be seen whether they will do enough in time to prevent permanent crippling damage to this most important sector of the economy. “We made our case and they heard us out and I think that if enough people shout loud enough the Government must surely listen. “We wanted to impress on MPs that there are a number of specific issues relating to small business that the Government must address.
“We would like the government to honour its pledge to use its new found influence with the banks not to increase charges. “Corporation Tax for small businesses has recently been hiked to 21% with plans to raise this to 22% in April next year. We think this should be reduced to about 15%. “We would also like to see business rate relief on empty properties brought back. We have heard of the owners of empty properties taking the roofs off their buildings or even demolishing them to escape this double whammy. “The government could also help by being more flexible and forgiving over payment deadlines for VAT and other tax payments and think constructively about putting more government contracts to smaller businesses.