Jonathan Reynolds MP

  • "The report tells a fantastic story about the ability of British businesses to thrive"

Commentary by Jonathan Reynolds MP, Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the British economy and their success is integral to Britain’s prosperity. That is why I’m delighted to be introducing the 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report once again this year. The report tells a fantastic story about the ability of British businesses to thrive in the face of a challenging environment and celebrates some of the most exciting new SMEs in the UK.

It also reinforces the importance of supporting these enterprises to foster an inclusive and productive economy. SMEs provide 60% of all jobs in the private sector. Labour is committed to supporting SMEs and creating an economy that works for all. For too long, growth in this country has been centred in London and the South East. I was particularly pleased therefore to see an improving regional spread of high-performing businesses, with over half of the companies in the report coming from outside these areas. Indeed, the North East of England showed some of the highest revenue growth in the country at 95%.

We will work with businesses, large and small, to ensure that inclusive growth and development are at the centre of our economy. Our strategy will support businesses across the country to create more highly skilled and higher-paid jobs. To do this, we will mandate the new National Investment Bank, along with regional development banks, to identify where the needs of SMEs are not being met by existing options and prioritise lending to bridge the funding gap.

The 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report illustrates the strength of entrepreneurial spirit throughout this country. It’s imperative that we listen to SMEs’ concerns and do all that we can to ensure that they have access to the right capital at the right time to help them succeed into the future.