I was appointed to the role of Small Business Commissioner in October 2017 in a bid to support the country’s 5.7 million small businesses and help alleviate poor payment practices.
Before I delved into the world of Politics and became an MP I was a Small Businesses owner for 20 years, so I have first-hand experience of the joys and struggles of running a business. I want to use my knowledge and experience to empower businesses and be the driving force behind the overdue cultural change in payment practices that the country really needs.
Since my appointment, I have been busy setting up my office and I now have a strong operational team of 9 who are focused and enthusiastic about helping small businesses. My team and I have successfully created branding reflective of our core values and have launched our Social Media platforms on Twitter and Instagram, to start engaging with our audience on a different level. I am also spending a lot of time networking and meeting with key Stakeholders who share common goals and can help push our message across the UK.
Admittedly so far it hasn’t all been plain sailing and I am very much reminded of when I started my own small business and the challenges I faced. Although we have had numerous enquiries I get the feeling Small Businesses are reluctant to complain. I intend to overcome this obstacle by raising awareness of our existence amongst SME’s whilst addressing barriers they face in coming forward to make a complaint.
Currently, I am directly interacting with small business owners who are at the heart of late payment issues. I want to gather feedback on their personal experiences and explore what they need to ensure they can continue to grow and thrive. I want to gain an understanding of what SME’s expect from me and reassure them that I am a Champion for small business and that the SBC is not just another government body. We are here to stay and make a difference by supporting Small Businesses from the beginning of a complaint to a resolution point.
My goal is to help shape the future for Small Businesses and I promise to do everything within my remit to make poor payment practices a thing of the past. I will be blogging on a monthly basis and would like to invite you all to follow me on this exciting journey.