As part of FSB’s #ThinkSelfEmployed Campaign, FSB Greater London hosted the first, in a series of events to engage local businesses with their MPs, to encourage discussion around key issues and pressures being faced on a daily basis.
A selection of Ealing and Acton businesses, representing a range of sectors, from sole traders to large employers were in attendance. Stephen Pound MP for Ealing North and Dr Rupa Huq MP for Ealing Central and Acton listened to a range of issues including; Brexit and the concerns around potential future staff shortages, business rates, with most agreeing that the existing system was unfair, poor value for money and disproportionate.
A growing business gave their own experience as an example; after moving to larger premises, they received a 300% rise in their business rates, whereas the increase in rent was only 70%.
Further discussion topics included; parking, with one local retailer explaining how half an hour of free parking is just not enough time to visit small businesses in the free on-street parking bays.
The Digital Economy, was also cited as major concern, with traditional businesses suffering a downturn as a consequence of their competition who are able to operate without the same imposed encumbrances of regulation and tax. Other topics mentioned included Post Office Closures, Infrastructure, Transport and Broadband, Access to Government Contracts, Waste and Recycling.
Watch this short video from Rupa Huq MP for Ealing Central and Acton showing her support for the FSB #thinkselfemployed campaign.