Theresa May: Small businesses are the 'backbone' of the UK
Theresa May has described small businesses as the “backbone” of the UK, as she prepares to discuss how SMEs can reap the benefits of leaving the European Union.
The Prime Minister will host a roundtable at No 10 with representatives from business groups and individual firms due to attend.
Ahead of the talks, Mrs May said helping smaller companies was a “fundamental part” of her plans to create a more even society.
“From dynamic start-ups to established family firms, our small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of our country,” she said.
“I want to build an economy that works for all, and that means working with, and listening to, smaller firms.
“The priorities I have set: a more productive, skilled workforce, an economy balanced across the UK and open to new opportunities, can only be achieved if we listen to these businesses.
“This isn’t about dry economics. Britain’s 5.4 million small and medium sized businesses provide people with jobs, put food on families’ tables and underpin the strength of our economy. They are a fundamental part of my vision of building a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.
“I also want those firms, across all the sectors of our economy, to be able to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Brexit, such as exporting to new destinations. So I’ll be asking them for their views on we get our whole economy firing ahead of Brexit.”
The Federation of Small Businesses, one of the groups that will attend the talks, said the Brexit negotiations needed to “focus on the needs of smaller businesses”.
“Our members want access to European markets, the ability to hire the right people, reassurance on key EU-funded schemes and a new approach to both regulation and de-regulation,” he added.