Access to single market vital says Blackpool business leader

Susanne Johnson
Susanne Johnson
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A Blackpool business leader from the Federation of Small Business has said the UK is now in what the group’s National Chairman has referred to as “uncharted territory”.

Susanne Johnson, FSB’s Blackpool chairman said: “Small businesses need confidence to be restored, something which had been falling even before the referendum, to push growth and investment.

“FSB is calling for economic stability to be returned urgently. As soon as the EU Referendum results were clear, FSB called on the Government and the Bank of England to provide economic stability. This is essential for small businesses to get the confidence to continue to drive economic growth and create jobs.

“This week we attended Business Secretary Sajid Javid’s business summit with other UK business organisations. It was stressed to the Business Secretary the need for immediate action to reassure small businesses so they can continue to trade and do business, including access to finance and liquidity for banks so they can continue to lend. 

“We will continue to push for clarity on four crucial areas to ensure smaller firms can have confidence to continue to drive economic growth and create jobs: First of all access to the single market, which in effect means being able to sell to 500 million potential customers. One in three FSB members either exports or imports so it is a big deal.  Secondly, free movement of people.

“Over 30 per cent of FSB members are worried they do not have access to workers with the right skills. Smaller firms need to be able to hire the right person for the job, and sometimes this means recruiting from overseas.

“Thirdly access to funding. Directly and indirectly, many small businesses have benefitted from EU funds, some used to boost infrastructure and others toward local support programmes.

“Finally regulation. Which rules will be scrapped and which may need reshaping? This will take time but is another area of uncertainty.”