Shadow Chancellor addresses small firms

McDonnell to outline plan for bank led fund

John McDonnell YoutubeShadow Chancellor John McDonnell is expected to spell out his plans to use the banking system to build a national infrastructure fund when he addresses the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) National Conference in Glasgow this week.

In a landmark address to a business audience in Scotland, Mr McDonnell will speak to more than 800 small business owners from across the UK.

Mr McDonnell said: “We are the party of wealth creators and small businesses. We now need nothing less than a radical break with the past, rewriting the rules of the economy.  We need to tackle a failing banking system that does not provide the finance that small businesses need.

“I look forward to setting out our alternative version to FSB National Conference.”

Sandra Dexter, the FSB’s National vice-chairman, said: “We’re pleased to welcome the opposition’s finance chief to our flagship event in Glasgow. Entrepreneurs from the four corners of the UK will be keen to hear Labour’s vision for supporting small business ambition.”

FSB’s National Conference and Expo is taking place on 17-19 March at the SECC in Glasgow. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and Ofcom chief executive Sharon White will be among those addressing the event.

Issues such as cyber security, social media, skills development and new pension rules will be on the agenda. Scottish entrepreneur Fraser Doherty – who founded his first business SuperJam at age just 14 – will also address delegates.

For the first time, business owners who are not FSB members are being invited to attend for free.

Andy Willox, FSB’s Scottish policy convener, said: “It doesn’t matter whether you started up ten years or ten minutes ago, to all of these people I say, you have to join the FSB.

“That’s why this year we’re throwing open the doors to our big event and inviting everyone who has an interest in small business issues to come along. We’ve been tickled pink by the response so far with more than 1000 people already reserving their place.

“Not only will you be able to hear from heavyweight political leaders like John McDonnell, you’ll get the benefit of a packed seminar programme and our largest ever business exhibition.”

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