Michael opened the Business Show which was hosted by Sevenoaks Town Partnership in association with Sevenoaks Town Council. In his speech he said:
“Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a really important role in getting the UK back onto a solid economic foundation. They account for 49% of private sector turnover, employ close to 60% of the UK workforce and represent over 90% of UK businesses.
We want to spread the message that Sevenoaks is open for business; from January to August this year there were 65 business start-ups here and there are currently 6,000 businesses registered for VAT or PAYE.”
Speaking to the business exhibitors Michael added: “Current Government initiatives include several measures of support for SMEs:
- From April 2014 every business and charity in the UK will be given a £2,000 allowance towards their National Insurance Contributions bill, benefitting 1.25 million businesses;
- There will also be a further cut in Corporation Tax in 2014 to 20 per cent, making the UK tax system one of the most competitive in the world;
- The 2012 Funding for Lending Scheme has now been now extended and skewed towards SME lending.
“In addition, Sevenoaks Town Council with the Sevenoaks Town Partnership is actively supporting local businesses with a number of splendid initiatives and this 4th Business Show has now become fixed event in the calendar. The Government supports you, Sevenoaks Town Council supports you and we all salute you!”