Economy moving in right direction, says UK PM as he unveils small business support package

Economy moving in right direction, says UK PM as he unveils small business support package
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In his first major economic announcement since the Spring Budget earlier this month, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak set out a major package of reforms to support businesses to deliver more apprenticeship places, cut red tape for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and leverage more private investment in female founders.

Addressing a Business Connect event at Warwickshire this week, Sunak said: “I grew up in a small business. When I wasn’t at school, I’d work in mum’s pharmacy serving customers, doing the bookkeeping, cleaning the shop. Our pharmacy shaped my beliefs about the economy,” said UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, referring to his family’s Sunak Pharmacy in his birthplace of Southampton.

“I know first-hand how important small businesses are. Not just for the economy, but as a driver for innovation and aspiration, and as the key to building a society where hard work is always recognised and rewarded.

“The economy is not some abstract thing. It’s about you – the five and a half million risk takers, growth makers, job creators… We’re not there yet but we’re absolutely moving in the right direction. So, let’s stick to the plan – and build a better, brighter future together.”

As part of the package, the UK government says it will fully fund apprenticeships in small businesses from April 1 by paying the full cost of training for anyone up to the age of 21. The move is underpinned by an additional £60 million of funding for next year. Taken together, the package of measures are designed to enable up to 20,000 more apprenticeships, primarily for young people, as part of a plan to build a stronger economy.

This marked the third Business Connect conference to take place since it was launched by Sunak last year and convened over 150 SMEs, as well as government ministers to discuss support for businesses in the country. Amid swirling rumours around a challenge to his leadership from within the Conservative Party, Sunak dismissed the “Westminster politics” to say his focus was on his mission to staying the course so that “Britain bounces back”.


Economy moving in right direction, says UK PM as he unveils small business support package
This plan is personal to me, I grew up in an NHS family: Rishi Sunak on pharmacies 

Speaking directly to businesses and delegates at the event in Coventry, Sunak underlined his government’s plan to create the economic conditions to encourage entrepreneurship and drive growth.

“Taken together, these measures will unlock a tidal wave of opportunity and make a real difference to businesses and entrepreneurs across the country,” he declared.

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