It was a pleasure to launch the 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2019 report at the London Stock Exchange Group. I was also happy to write a foreword to the book, alongside Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon. Small to medium size businesses are the backbone of the British economy and their success to key to UK prosperity.
The report tells a fantastic story about the ambition, resilience and innovation of British SMEs even within a challenging environment. It also reinforces the importance of supporting these enterprises to foster an inclusive and productive economy. SMEs provide 60% of all jobs in the private sector. Labour is committed to supporting SMEs and creating an economy that works for all. For too long, growth in this country has been centred in London and the South East. I was particularly pleased therefore to see an improving regional spread of high-performing businesses, with over half of the companies in the report coming from outside these areas.
I also held another very well attended City Surgery this week, with CEOs from several major financial services providers stopping into to discuss key economic issues as we draw towards Brexit. This format for meeting stakeholders is a total first and is working really well.
I was also proud to lead Labour’s National Policy Forum on Local Economic Development in Manchester this morning. I will always seek to engage as many people as possible in Labour’s economic policy pledges, and make sure they work for all corners of the UK.