From 2010 to 2015, the number of Crawley businesses increased by more than 600 to over 3,600. In recent weeks I’ve been pleased to contact the Crawley branch of the Federation of Small Businesses with information on how local companies can apply for government contracts.
SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) benefitted from £12.2 billion worth of central government spending in 2015-16. Central government has the goal of spending one pound in every three with SMEs by 2022.
Further action is needed in addition to such leading by example. The British Business Bank has already supported over 59,000 small businesses with some £3.4 billion of finance. More than 50,000 Start-Up Loans worth almost £340 million have also been provided.
UK export finance capacity will be doubled to make it easier for British businesses to sell overseas. We must ensure we use Brexit to make the most of our position as a global, island trading nation.
The Industrial Strategy will increase investment in research and development (R&D) to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programmes worth £725 million will help drive innovation.
There will also be more than £400 million of investment in maths, digital and technical education as well as creating a new National Retraining Scheme that supports people to re-skill and change career.
As Britain leaves the EU there is an opportunity for us to do far more to engage with the wider world beyond Europe.
Henry Smith MP