Having been shortlisted in the manufacturing category for the First Women Awards in association with Lloyds Banking Group, I feel it is essential that we work to better engage the government with 'middle' businesses. Family-owned and mid-cap businesses are the engine room of our economy, with much to teach those in other sectors.
Government must engage with these businesses to secure the future sustainable growth of our economy. These business leaders have weathered arguably the worst recession in the last century and come out as survivors. As one such business leader I feel it's high time that we focus on these 'champions' of industry, recognising that this is where secure economic growth and employment will be created, while understanding the support that these businesses need.
Too much investment in the past decade has been focussed on 'new start-ups', our corporate sector and on attracting globally mobile inward investment, regularly for short-term gain. Investment and support should be focussed on those businesses that have continued to grow throughout the last 20 years with little or no support. There is a great deal of entrepreneurial flair in the mid-cap business community, but they are often ignored.
We should be supporting those companies who have invested in themselves and have defied the odds in spite of all the challenges thrown at them!
A great start would be to follow this call to arms to invest in our future:-
- We should establish a national network, with regional groups to look at the needs of our MID-size companies and to feed in directly to BIS and the Treasury - to advise directly on what's stopping us getting more business in the global marketplace and how can Government help.
- We should have many more targeted focus group overseas visits with senior government ministers.
- Establish government-backed loans that are paid to businesses that need cash to grow both competitively, while also securing sustainable employment growth, with pre-agreed payment programmes offering affordable interest rates.
We need to show our global competition that BRAND BRITAIN is definitely 'OPEN FOR BUSINESS' and that we have a whole lot to offer.
Jacqui Miller is shortlisted for the 2013 First Women Awards.
The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 12 June and is hosted by Real Business in association with Lloyds Banking Group.