The Labour Party Annual Conference 2023
SME4Labour and UK Hospitality fringe: How Can Labour Support Hospitality SMEs
🗓 Date: Tuesday, 10 October 2023
⏳ Time: 11:00
📍Location: SME4Labour POD (Meeting Room 22), ACC Liverpool, Kings Dock Street, Liverpool, England, L3 4FP
SME4Labour and UK Hospitality fringed: How Could Labour Support Hospitality SMEs with Ashley Dalton MP; Jessica Toale, Labour PPC for Bournemouth West; Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality and Nic Durston, British BIDs. This panel discussion was chaired by Charles Napier, SME4Labour.
Kate Nicholls emphasized the pivotal role of the hospitality sector in achieving the government’s and Labor Party’s objectives. With a staggering £439 billion in industry revenue and the potential to surpass £100 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA), the sector is poised for substantial growth, projected to outpace the broader economy sixfold over the next five years. It currently employs 2.5 million people, establishing itself as a cornerstone of the economy. Kate delineated three essential areas necessitating change. First, unlocking investment in SMEs and local communities, given the sector’s significant local impact. This includes addressing the intricacies of rate reform. Second, investing in the sector’s workforce to unlock their potential. Lastly, boosting growth to support public services by focusing on economic growth in sectors with the most substantial potential for impact. The hospitality sector stands as a crucial driver of growth, jobs, and investment, presenting a compelling case for prioritization.
Ashley Dalton MP contrasted the government’s stance, which has rejected calls for a reduction in VAT and provided only short-term business relief, leaving SMEs, especially smaller businesses, facing an uncertain future. In response, the Labour Party is planning to reduce business rates for small businesses, including pubs, and raise the threshold for small business rates relief to £25,000. These measures are fully costed in the Labour plan and are expected to save the average pub £2,600 and the average restaurant £2,700 per year, offering vital support to keep businesses afloat. The Labour Party has also proposed a £7 billion voucher scheme to provide grants for businesses to invest in energy-saving technologies, promoting energy efficiency and cost savings.
In summary, Participants attended an engaging event that focused on Labour’s commitment to supporting hospitality small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and fostering a thriving sector. They engaged in insightful discussions, heard expert perspectives, and took part in interactive sessions as we explored Labour’s strategies and policies to empower and uplift hospitality SMEs, ensuring their growth, resilience, and contribution to the economy.