I am delighted to be able to send my best wishes to you on the 4th annual SME4Labour gala dinner. Never has the work of SME4Labour been more important, than under a new national leadership in showing the support to all those small and medium sized businesses who have been struggling over the last year due to COVID-19 and Brexit.
Local businesses have risen to the challenge of COVID despite the enormous challenges posed by social distancing, economic uncertainty, a drop in incomes and employment.
Never has a Labour Government been more in demand by small business than now, to provide real support in difficult times. Keeping the furlough scheme running. A more generous and better administered grant scheme. Consistent messaging from the Government. Instead we have seen a Government marked by incompetence and chaos, with dodgy deals for Conservative donors and big contracts for friends and families. All businesses should have a fair shot, and taxpayers demand transparency, not least when so many businesses have been champions for their local communities, donating to food banks, offering storage and other facilities with many other acts of generosity.
The work of SME4Labour in this context and in this year could not be more obvious or vital, and I wish you well for the forthcoming year.
Andrew Dismore AM
Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden