Sefton entrepreneurs are guests of MP Bill Esterson at breakfast

Labour Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna, Phil Round, Maghull Labour Councillor Patrick McKinley and MP Bill Esterson.


A group of small business owners in Sefton Central were the guests of MP Bill Esterson at a special breakfast meeting with Labour's Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna.

Mr Umunna held the special breakfast meeting to give him the chance to hear the views and concerns of local businesses.

Maghull Labour Councillor, Patrick McKinley, together with Sefton entrepreneurs Ray Pendelton and Phil Round, who is also a former training manager at Jaguar Landrover, got the chance to put their views to the Shadow Business Secretary.

Bill Esterson, who himself was a small business owner before going into Parliament, said the meeting had given local entrepreneurs the chance to detail some of the challenges they face.

Bill said: "The meeting with Chuka was a great opportunity for small businesses from right here in Sefton Central to tell the Shadow Business Secretary exactly what their concerns are, the challenges they face and what government could do to help them.

Labour Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna with Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson and meeting organiser Frank McKenna from Downtown Liverpool in Business. "Chuka heard that there is concern about poor communication and marketing about the business support initiatives that are available, a lack of credibility with schemes around funding and apprenticeships and the bureaucracy and red tape which surrounds the potential support available to small businesses.

"He also heard about the challenges that small businesses face day in day out in relation to recruitment and cash flow.

"In his turn, Chuka made the point that while banks are failing to serve businesses as they should, businesses need new ways of being able to access finance. He also said he wants to see better vocational training and help for young people to become work ready.

"Chuka was keen to listen and he and I will feed back what we heard to the Parliamentary Labour Party.

“Chukka also said that businesses would benefit from a temporary cut in VAT and also a holiday from paying National Insurance for small businesses who want to recruit new members of staff. The business owners at the event appreciated the fact that he had some practical ideas which could be introduced now and that the government should be considering as ways of helping small businesses like those in Maghull and Lydiate.”

During the meeting Cllr Patrick McKinley highlighted the benefits of investing in programmes such as future jobs. He led part of the development and delivery of the training programme devised in collaboration with Jaguar Landrover leading to over 100 long term unemployed people getting well paid jobs to work building the very successful Evoque Range Rover.

Labour Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna, with Ray Pendelton and Labour MP Bill Esterson. Cllr McKinley said: "It was a really good event and I took the opportunity to point out to Chukka that he had used a technique used by the treasury to model and assess the impact of the programme by analysing the effect the initial investment would have on the local economy. Over 15 years the initial investment of £600,000 would lead to generating an additional £50million pound being put into the local economy.

"This happens because people would have money to spend leading to an in increase in demand, tax would be paid, people would be off benefits, other people's jobs would be protected through the additional demand, who in turn would pay tax and spend. In turn, these activities would contribute to reducing the deficit and help the UK economy grow. 

"If replicated across the UK this would be a far more effective way of reducing the deficit than the austerity measures which are destroying rather than creating.

"Chuka was suitably impressed by the model we introduced at Jaguar Landrover and he suggested it would be something a future Labour Government would learn from."


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