Along with Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Theresa May, Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Sir Reg Empey, and the rest of the team, I met with representatives of the Federation of Small Businesses.
I firmly believe that only the election of a new Conservative government will provide the confidence and support which the vital small business sector desperately needs and thus aid Northern Ireland’s economic recovery. Mid-Ulster has long been an area where small-businesses have provided much needed employment and they have been badly hit by the recent economic crisis and cannot afford to wade into another era of Labour’s financial mismanagement.
Given that small firms employ more than 62 per cent of the private sector workforce in Northern Ireland, this is clearly an area that needs a great deal of care and attention. I know that small businesses are instrumental in delivering economic recovery and contributing to unemployment rates, but this is dependant on them being enabled to succeed.
Small businesses can help lead the way out of this downturn, enable sustainable growth and create essential new jobs for Northern Ireland.