On the 21st May SME4Labour hosted its successful Annual Lunch for the first time ever, seeing the likes of key Shadow Cabinet Members and Ministers and MPs from across the board. Over 100 guests joined for the exclusive event at the renowned venue Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club to be a part of what could be the most unmissable event of the year. Although slightly different to our usual evening events our Annual Lunch proved to be a huge success for its official launch in the Parliamentary calendar.

Welcoming Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper to the stage within the first hour of the lunch started the event off with a bang. Yvette gave a moving speech on why SMEs were so desperately needed during our economic cost-of-living crisis, one thing was clear: SMEs were going to be fought for by the next Labour Government. So many in the room were eager to hear from Yvette as the country’s next Labour Government and they were not disappointed. Guest speakers of the event also included a speech through a video by General Secretary of the Labour Party David Evans, Lord Iain McNicol and SME4Labour’s Chair Ibrahim Dogus. All business representatives, small business owners and MPs in the room were blown away by all the speeches.

Joani Reid and Hamish Falconer who are Parliamentary candidates were the glitzy hosts of the lunch turning out in full support of local business in their campaigns as the next Member of Parliaments in East Kilbride and Lincoln. They welcomed to the stage our sponsors of the lunch: Checkatrade’s CEO Jambu Palaniappan and Allica Bank’s Head of Partnership’s Sophie Hossack who gave impressive speeches on how their organisations were born out of putting customers first.

Guests were served a delicious three-course meal and a well-stocked drinks reception with an opportunity for business representatives, MPs, and senior politicians to discuss future policy ideas. Although it was the first of its kind, the Annual Lunch is now firmly at the heart of the political calendar, kicking off an election year with a strong start providing a space for businesses and Labour politicians to come together. Small-medium enterprises make up 99.9% of the UK’s business landscape, it was clear to hear from our speakers that the Labour Party will be the Party of businesses in the UK and that there will be many fulfilled promises to come bringing opportunity and hope for SMEs. After a huge success of our first Annual Lunch we look forward to welcoming you this time next year for an even bigger and better event.