Whilst big companies are the ones that get all the attention, our economy is and always has been anchored in small and medium-sized businesses. SMEs are an essential part of our economy, providing over 16.8 million jobs to people across our communities and accounting for 52% of private sector turnover in the UK. Islington is the proud home of over 33,000 SMEs, whose goods and services make a rich contribution to my constituency.
Many SMEs have been struggling in recent times, whether that is because of the Coronavirus pandemic and the government’s lacklustre response, or because they have been left with limited support when navigating the new rules to trade with Europe or when accessing other markets overseas.
During this time, SME4Labour have continued to provide SMEs with a strong voice within the Labour movement.
It is so important that we have an open dialogue with businesses and SME4Labour play an important role in facilitating these conversations. As Labour’s Shadow International Trade Secretary, I have many discussions with a wide range of businesses in order to really understand where and how the government’s trade policy is failing them.
Working with groups such as SME4Labour is one of the ways that the Labour Party can develop new policies that work for business and create jobs that are fit for the future, as we recover from the pandemic and work to tackle the climate crisis.
Rt Hon. Emily Thornberry MP
Member of Parliament for Islington South and Finsbury
Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade