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Small business owners react to Jeremy Corbyn becoming Labour leader

Small business owners react to Jeremy Corbyn becoming Labour leader
Enterprise Nation
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Posted: Tue 15th Sep 2015

Small business owners share their response to Jeremy Corbyn's victory in the Labour leadership election.

Natalie Lawrence, Natalie Lawrence Photography:

"I've read Jeremy Corbyn's 'Better Business' plan and am encouraged that there is a Labour leader that doesn't paint small business as scary and exploitative. A National Education Service will go someway to addressing the skills shortage that several business organisations complain about every year.

"A small business rate freeze and rent controls would be helpful; cutting it and encouraging local councils to reduce or freeze their rates would be even better. I've spoken to a few local, independent high-street retailers and I'm horrified at how much they have to pay.

"If he's planning to improve digital infrastructure, that should appeal to those in Silicon Roundabout who, according to reports, still suffer from slow broadband, something our current government has failed to tackle after five years.

"If his plans result in more people being encouraged into creating businesses, due to greater banking support, a highly-skilled workforce that isn't priced out of living near its workplaces and better infrastructure, then these measures would make small businesses more competitive."

Adam Knight, Astonish Email:

"I voted for Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election. As a small business I come across the same problems as everyone else at the moment. We are having trouble accessing credit from any bank, despite having what most people would consider a successful business.

"I am sick of hearing that the Tories are pro-business as it is completely inaccurate. They are pro-big business. Their complete inaction on getting banks to lend to small businesses and the ridiculously high business rates are just two examples of this in practice. I voted for Jeremy because I want a more equal society. Where people are rewarded for their hard work and contribution to society and the vampire squids that sit atop every industry are no longer."

Diane Shaw, Academy of Vocational and Profesional Training:

"I am really not surprised that Labour went this way. They are not really for businesses, and want big social projects funded by businesses who they think are spending all their time getting fat on profit.

"I think because Labour lost so big, they have elected this man to ensure that they cause as much grief as possible for the government and there lies the problem. They are only thinking about getting back at the government without realising that the government is chosen by the will of the people so inevitably they will impact on the economy.

"Corbyn is out for a really trying time as the unions will now start to use him as a pawn and even if he wanted to help small businesses he really has no power apart from being a thorn on the side of growth."

Lawrie Jones, Style Content:

"There has been lots of speculation about what Corbyn's appointment means, but very little substance. His focus seems to be on ensuring that big businesses pay a fair amount of tax which, for us small businesses that pay every penny, it's good news.

"Even if he doesn't come to power, he will use his opportunity to raise these issues and force all parties to become more transparent about their views on tax avoidance."

Lee Biggins, CV-Library:

"Corbyn is potentially very damaging to UK small businesses. Despite last month's launch of his 'Better Business' plan, it is highly unlikely that SMEs will see any benefits from Labour's new leader. Corbyn is intent on increasing taxes would place a massive burden on the UK's small businesses, causing wage inflation and leading to the demise of our most unstable businesses. Those that do survive will be left with significantly less money to invest, meaning an automatic decline in recruitment and productivity, both of which will be terrible news for the entire economy.

"This, combined with increased living wage of £10, will be detrimental to businesses and lead to a further contraction in employment. Labour once again seem intent on policies that only support lower-paid workers and fail to incentivise middle and higher earners."

Tony Robinson, Enterprise Rockers:

"The election of Jeremy Corbyn and his appointments of people in his shadow cabinet of people who firmly believe in equality is very good news. For the first time in decades there will be a proper opposition in Parliament and a distinct, alternative choice for voters in the next general election.

"In 1973 E.F Schumacher wrote Small is Beautiful, a study of economics as if people mattered and for the first time we have an opposition party proposing a similar alternative way of economic growth that would allow five million of us running our own businesses a 'fair crack' at making ends meet on a more level playing field between large corporates and institutions and ourselves. It was also inspiring for me that against the power of the establishment the Labour leader was elected by a grass roots movement."

Phil Foster, Love Energy Savings:

"Corbyn claims he is standing for a fairer and more successful Britain; one with a fairer economy that encourages innovation and provides more jobs. This is an ideal most politicians are striving for but it will be interesting to see if his policies match up to his promises.

"The desire to place higher taxes on the shoulders of the rich to accomplish a fairer distribution of wealth is a very left-wing policy that may deter business leaders from putting their full support behind Corbyn. Obviously no-one desires the continuation of austerity but charging the rich more is not always the most pragmatic (and election-winning option).

"For SMEs, Corbyn has proposed that the money raised from taxing the richest 4% of households could be used to establish a National Investment Bank that will head a multi-million pound programme of support for industry

"Corbyn's promise to freeze small business rates, improve infrastructure and support the self-employed may appeal to SMEs but one should be aware that this will be accompanied by corporation tax increases, higher wage costs and more expensive transport."

David Marshall, Marshall E-Learning Consultancy:

"I welcome Corbyn's election. He is a proven champion of equality and everything I have seen shows he will combat corporate greed, not come down on SMEs.

"He is 66 years old and we need to start thinking differently about age. In other cultures age equals wisdom, and too often in our press I see the expression 'male, pale and stale'. It's inspiring to see that 66 is now no age at all and he had the passion to go for a goal at this stage in his career.

Whether you support his politics or not, Corbyn is authentic and remained true to his beliefs. Throughout his career, he inspired his supporters. I welcome his election in the sense that I think politics will be exciting now, not that I would necessarily vote for him."

What do you think about Jeremy Corbyn's appointment? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

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