Our visit to Number 10 – What Rural Businesses need to grow!
Director and Co-Founder of HR Consultancy SYLO Associates, Sally White was recently invited, through OXLEP and Enterprise Nation, to join a select group of other Rural Businesses to meet with Jimmy McLoughlin, the Prime Minister’s Business Advisor at Number 10 Downing Street.
We were asked to identify and task the Chancellor of the Exchequer on “one practical thing we would like to see in the Budget that would make it easier to start and grow your business”; the focus this month was “Support for Rural Businesses”.
There were approximately 16 organisations, all from Rural communities, who were invited to use this forum to voice ideas and experiences.
As a group we shared practical experiences which affect Rural Businesses and these included:
- the impact the change to business rates has caused,
- slow broadband speeds,
- skills shortages,
- lack of affordable office space.
The discussion generated some very practical suggestions on what needed to happen to address these areas.
The Oxfordshire LEADER Grant Programme and Local Development Strategy have both raised the profile of Rural Businesses, with the assistance of SObusiness, and how rural Oxfordshire has the potential to make a more significant contribution to the local economy. So our ideas built on what they’re already putting in motion.
SYLO Associates have seen, through some of our local clients, the limiters to growth are most commonly linked to the increasing cost of overheads. We have therefore proposed to the Chancellor, through Jimmy McLoughlin, that larger capital investment support should be made available to business, with a Government backed Angel Investment Scheme; on the back of this, reduce the tax companies pay, by reviewing the Entrepreneurs’ Tax Relief.
A huge thank you to both Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation and to Jimmy McLoughlin for extending this invitation and setting up this forum. It felt like the business ideas raised by everyone attending were being listened to.
Be sure that we’ll all be watching this space to see what is taken forward!