A CABINET minister recently visited Northumberland to discuss issues of red tape affecting small and medium-sized enterprises in the region.
At the event organised by Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Francis Maude met with leading members from the Chambers of Trade in Morpeth, Alnwick and Berwick.
Mr Maude is Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General and leads on the Government’s efforts to try to simplify business regulation.
They talked about the issues that businesses in market towns have raised as constraints to their operations and plans for growth and measures that will help small firms, such as the reduction in the employers’ contribution for National Insurance payments by £2,000 per employee from April 2014.
Mrs Trevelyan said: “This was a good opportunity for business people to discuss their concerns with someone who holds real influence within the Government.
“When speaking to businesses in the region, the issues with regulation and layers of unnecessary bureaucracy, which are slowing down their business growth potential, are constantly raised. It was great to be able to talk directly to the Minister, who spends his days tackling departments on their regulations.
“We need to continue to fight for a better deal for our businesses.”
The Conservative parliamentary candidate for Berwick-upon-Tweed has also welcomed new figures that show the Government’s Start-Up Loans Scheme has now helped 51 entrepreneurs in Northumberland to set up their own business.
These people have borrowed a total of £212,850.
“New businesses are the lifeblood of a healthy economy as they help to create jobs and growth,” said Mrs Trevelyan.
“That’s why we will keep supporting hard-working people who aspire to start their own businesses.”