Small business owners from around North Warwickshire were last week invited to take part in a question and answer session with prospective local MP Craig Tracey and MEP for the West Midlands Anthea McIntyre in a breakfast meeting at the Coleshill Hotel.
Discussions ranged from the importance of giving younger people in schools more business and entrepreneurial skills, the EU’s role in creating jobs and supporting small business owners. The local business owners were also able to raise the challenges that they face with their local Parliamentary Candidate and MEP.
Craig Tracey, who runs his own small business, an insurance brokers, said:
“It was great for other local businesses to be able to question Anthea McIntyre MEP on the role of the European Union in relation to small businesses in the UK. At the moment UK businesses are leading the way in Europe in driving our economy to growth with more jobs; in particular in North Warwickshire & Bedworth unemployment is at a record low – down 73% since January 2010.
“I am pleased that local business owners raised the importance of skills for young people. As someone who has employed apprentices in the past I have seen first-hand how vital it is to give younger people the skills, qualifications and experience they need to succeed in life.
“We passed on a lot of ideas and experiences to Anthea to take back to the EU, including the support that small businesses need – we have seen the Government recently announce £15bn worth of investments in the city deal including a business investment fund.”
After the meeting Miss McIntyre said:
"I have run small businesses myself, and I know what the frustrations as well as the potential can be. If we can remove the burden of regulation from the shoulders of small business we can free up valuable time for their entrepreneurial driving spirit to focus on more productive aspects of the business.
“I am always keen to meet and hear from local businesses as they know first-hand what is needed to improve the employability of those looking for work. It is abundantly clear that schools, colleges and universities need to work closely with businesses to ensure we have an education system ‘Fit for purpose’ and able to deliver qualified personal for the current and future jobs market”