“SMEs are responsible for 60% of private sector jobs. Smaller businesses are often the source of the innovation and creativity which we need to unlock to boost our productivity and growth. Labour’s plans for a National Investment Bank, access to government contracts and making sure larger firms pay their suppliers promptly will all help businesses start and grow. Our investment in infrastructure and growth are crucial to the success of businesses of all sizes. The next Labour government will put the economy first in negotiating Brexit and make sure we maintain membership of the single market and customs union during a transition period for as long as business economy needs. We want a deal which maximizes our access to our biggest market in the EU and minimizes disruption after that we leave. That includes guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens who make such a massive contribution to so many businesses in the UK. Business needs government to be its partner, along with our workforce. SMEs need a fair market and the chance to compete on an equal footing with larger businesses. The next Labour government will stand up for businesses, especially smaller businesses, which are at the heart of our communities and are the key to our future success.”Read more
"SME4 Labour provides small businesses with a way to have their voices heard, which are too often drowned out by larger companies and corporations. I’d like to thank and congratulate my colleagues in the SME4 Labour team for their contribution to an economic policy that works for the many, not the few."Read more
“I wish to thank SME4Labour for the major contribution the group has made to developing and campaigning so successfully for Labour’s policies. SME4Labour has really made its’ mark on our political direction.”Read more
"Whilst small businesses contribute to job creation and economic activity locally, they rarely have the time or space to get involved in formulating public policy – SME4Labour can enable a two way flow of information and understanding ensuring that Labour policy takes account of the needs of this vital sector and that small business understands how it can support and put into effect Labour values at a local level."Read more
"Small and medium-sized businesses play an absolutely vital role in the development of the economy, but they need organisations that can speak out for them because they don't have the influence that larger companies can employ. SME4Labour plays a vital role in ensuring their voices are heard, both inside and outside of the Labour Party."Read more
21st November 2017 – SME4Labour held a roundtable discussion in Parliament about how the Labour Party can beat the Tories on business and re-establish itself as the party of - and for - small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners and workers. The session was kindly hosted by Jack Dromey MP, Shadow Minister for Labour. Shadow Secretary of State for Business Bill Esterson MP joined Mr. Dromey for the session. Rehana Ameer, councillor in the City of London and an SME owner, kindly chaired the event, and our panel of speakers featured Hamish Sandison, chair of Labour Business, Simon Lydiard, former civil servant, and Emma Barnes, owner of Wild Fawn jewellery.Read more
"SMEs are of vital importance to local communities and to the wider economy, not least in job creation. It is essential that SMEs have a Labour Party that listens and stands up for them. That is what we are doing as a party, and SME4Labour has played an important role in contributing towards the discussion around SME issues both inside and outside of parliament. I congratulate SME4Labour on another successful year in bringing together Labour figures with business to discuss the big issues."Read more
“SME4Labour provides a brilliant and worthwhile link between small businesses and the Labour Party. Small and medium-sized enterprises employ the vast majority of the working people we seek to represent, and the work SME4Labour does in advancing that cause is highly valued by us all.
"I’d like to congratulate the SME4Labour team on their outstanding work in hosting events the year round, and look forward to watching how they will continue to grow in the future.”Read more
"I would like to convey my support for the second SME4Labour gala. The gala and awards are important in recognising the key role that SMEs play in the economy and in driving growth. In my constituency SMEs are the lifeblood of the local economy, and raising awareness of SME issues within the Labour Party is an important mission."Read more
“SMEs are vital in growing a sustainable economy and SME4Labour pays a crucial role in that goal. Hearing what SME4Labour have to say on this is important in shaping Labour's economic position.”Read more
"From Kirkcaldy to Kelty and Cowdenbeath to Crosshill, SMEs are the backbone and heartbeat of the Scottish economy. In Scotland, SMEs account for 99.4% of all businesses, 55% of private sector employment and 40% of private sector turnover. It is for this reason that I am delighted to see so many SMEs come together in support of Labour. We are proud to be the party of SMEs and we will always act in their best interests."Read more
“Our small business sector is the power-house of the economy, contributing 47% of the UK’s income in the private sector and constituting over 99% of all businesses and the majority of private sector jobs. Small businesses are critical to boosting aggregate levels of productivity in the UK. For sustainable and healthy growth, we need to support and nurture our entrepreneurs and small businesses.Read more
“Small and medium enterprises make a huge contribution to our shared prosperity, and provide an important number of jobs in Leeds East. That’s why I’m pleased to support the fantastic work SME4Labour does working in partnership with these enterprises, trade unions and the Labour Party to develop Labour’s plan for growth and a fairer society.”Read more
Jack Dromey has been the MP for Birmingham Erdington since the 2010 general electionRead more
THE TAYLOR REVIEW AND ITS FALLOUT – WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FLEXIBLE ECONOMY?
31st October 2017 – SME4Labour held a fascinating forum in Westminster on the Taylor Review into modern employment practices. Commissioned and endorsed by the Prime Minister, in July Matthew Taylor published his far-ranging review into modern work. Covering everything from zero-hours contracts to reforming employment law, the report has provoked significant debate. The event was kindly hosted by Bill Esterson MP (Sefton Central) and chaired by Philip Ross of Labour Business. Speaking at the event were Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington; Simon McVicker, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE); Hannah Reed, Senior Employment Rights Officer at the Trade Union Congress (TUC); and Mark Glover, founder and chief executive of communications consultancy firm Newington. Review author Matthew Taylor of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) joined us in the second half of the session to discuss his report and to address some of the criticisms that have been levelled against it.Read more
"Small businesses are the engine of our economy and the platform for our future growth. We need to invest in and nurture small businesses and encourage entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, if we are to build an economy that works for all."Read more
"Comprising over 99% of private sector businesses in the UK, small and medium enterprises are the backbone of the economy. I'm delighted that the Labour Party has such a close relationship with SMEs through SME4Labour. It is no secret that the Labour Party is the only party committed to a fair deal for working people and so this relationship is essential when 60% of all private sector employment in the UK is in small businesses.Read more
26th September 2017 - SME4Labour, in partnership with LabourList, hosted an event at Labour Party Conference in Brighton entitled 'Labour's links with SMEs: building a pro business reputation'. SME4Labour co-chair Ibrahim Dogus was joined by Stephen Kinnock MP, Bill Esterson MP, Lola McEvoy of the Living Wage Foundation, and Labour Business chair Hamish Sandison.Read more
6th September 2017 – SME4Labour sponsored a successful networking reception at Cucina Restaurant hosted by Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.Read more
19th July 2017 - SME4Labour held a roundtable discussion in the House of Commons on the role of SMEs in the British economy after Brexit. The event was chaired by Simon McVicker, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), and featured keynote speakers Stephen Kinnock MP (Aberavon) and Martin McTague, National Policy Director of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
18th May 2017 - SME4Labour co-chair Ibrahim Dogus took part in the General Election Small Business Debate, organised by Enterprise Nation. The debate was lively and Ibrahim enjoyed sharing his perspectives with the other participants and hearing the questions and concerns of the audience.Read more
25th April 2017 - SME4Labour supported an evening of great food - and even better conversation - with our special guest speaker the Rt Hon. Yvette Cooper MP and host Bill Esterson MP, Shadow Business Minister.Read more
21st March 2017 - A night of fun, food and entertainment to help Tracy Brabin raise funds for her Labour Campaigns. Attendees enjoyed a meal, entertainment from rising comedy acts, a political quiz and an auction.Read more
Martin Howe is a founding member of Howe + Co and its senior partner. Martin has over 30 years’ experience working as a solicitor and specialising in social justice cases. Martin is an elected member of the Council of Liberty (the National Council for Civil Liberties) and in 2012 was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of Liberty as an Executive Member. He is a recipient of the Ross McWhirter Award for his campaigning work and twice has been a runner up for the Human Rights Practitioner of the Year Award. Furthermore, as a member of the Gurkha Justice Campaign, Martin won the prestigious Human Rights Award from Justice and Liberty in 2009.Read more
Carwyn Jones is the First Minister of Wales and the third Labour politician to lead the Welsh Government.Read more
Dawn Butler became member of the parliament in 2015 for Brent Central.Read more
John McDonnell has been the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer since 2015.Read more
Catherine McKinnell became member of the parliament in 2010 as MP for Newcastle North, where she was born and raised.Read more
Sharon Hodgson became a Member of the Parliament in 2005 for Gateshead East and Washington West, and is now MP for Washington and Sunderland West.Read more
Jess Phillips MP was born in Yardley, England and is the MP for Birmingham, Yardley.Read more
Toby Perkins has been the MP for Chesterfield since 2010 general election, gaining the seat from Liberal Democrat Paul Holmes.Read more
James Dowd was an MP from 1992 to 2017, first for Lewisham West and from 2010 to 2017 for Lewisham West and Penge.Read more
Rebecca Long-Bailey was elected MP for Salford and Eccles in the 2015 general election.
Nick Brown is has been the MP for Newcastle upon Tyne East since 1983.Read more
Seema Malhotra was first elected Labour and Co-Operative MP for Feltham and Heston in December 2011.Read more
Stephen Kinnock is the Labour Member of Parliament for Aberavon, having first been elected in 2015.Read more
Emily Thornberry has been the MP for Islington South and Finsbury since the 2005 general election.Read more
Yvette Cooper has been the MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford since 2010, having served as the MP for Pontefract and Castleford from 1997.Read more
Peter Hain was the MP for Neath between 1991 and 2015, and served in the Cabinets of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.Read more
“SMEs are absolutely vital to our local economy in Heywood and Middleton, and to the British economy as a whole. As we face the challenges and opportunities of Brexit, it is crucial they are given the support and certainty necessary to thrive. The work that SME4Labour does it very important in highlighting the significance of this and I am happy to give them my full support.”Read more
“SME4Labour has a crucial role in ensuring that Labour’s policies are informed by people with real experience in running and working in business. As a former SME owner myself, I have huge respect for those who are dedicating their time to SME4Labour, because they know that only under a Labour Government will small firms get the support to succeed and thrive.”
Toby Perkins MP - Member of Parliament for Chesterfield
"SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy. That’s true of Stroud as much as it is in the rest of the country. I work very closely with SMEs and I congratulate Labour’s initiative in this area."Read more
“I ran a small business and understand its challenges and rewards. As more people earn a living this way, it is essential Labour speaks to those people even more effectively.”Read more
“Small and medium enterprises provide 60% of private sector jobs in the UK and are a vital part of local communities up and down the country - they need the support of the Government to thrive.
“Labour is the party of SMEs. Given the changes the UK economy is about to go through, we must ensure they’re fully equipped and ready for the years ahead. Listening to groups like SME4Labour is now more important than ever."Read more
"Given the potential impact of Brexit on SMEs, it is vital Labour hears direct from them about their hopes and fears so that our policy responses reflect their needs. SME4Labour is the channel for this dialogue, and we look forward to working with them in the year ahead."Read more
Please consider taking our SME4Labour model motion to your CLP -
"This Constituency Labour Party believes that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the British economy. Last year, SMEs made up 99.3% of all private sector businesses in the United Kingdom, employing over 15.7 million people with an estimated combined annual turnover of £1.8 trillion, accounting for 47% of total private sector turnover.
"As a CLP, we recognise that the interests of SMEs and big business differ greatly, and we resolve to strengthen our relationship with local small, medium, micro and family owned businesses as well as the self-employed. We resolve to support constructive and informed discussion within our CLP on issues impacting on SMEs, and to work closely with trade unions and employers’ groups to encourage strong partnerships and collaboration."
SME4Labour supports the Business Liaison Officer, or BuLo, initiative. Why not have a BuLo in your CLP to help Labour reach out to SME owners? Please see www.lfig.org/bulo
Ibrahim Dogus, Co-Chairman of SME4Labour, commented on the reactions from small and medium businesses regarding the announcement of the General Election in June, 2017.
Listen to BBC Radio 5's 'Wake Up to Money' podcast here.
We are delighted to announce that nominations for the Second Labour Excellence Awards are now open. If you admire a Shadow Cabinet Member or think that your local Labour MP, Cllr, GLA, Scottish Parliament or Welsh Assembly Member is deserving of a prestigious Labour Excellence Award nominate them. Why not celebrate the work of a particular Labour Friends Group, Socialist Society or Trade Union by putting them forward?
You can do this by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org with the name, contact details and a reason why you think your nominee qualifies them for an award.Read more
10 March 2017
The increase to national insurance contributions in this year’s budget is yet another Tory assault on small businesses and entrepreneurs, writes Ibrahim Dogus
This week’s budget has proven to be the disaster for innovative, small businesses that many had feared. Once again, this government has demonstrated its complete disregard for small and medium sized enterprises and its corresponding enthusiasm for faceless, giant corporations. Under the new budget, business rates have increased dramatically, while the much-vaunted business rate relief has been miniscule. Moreover, the self-employed have been asked to contribute far more to the state coffers without any increase in protections or rights. Both measures are set to stifle the small, innovative businesses which drive our economy and keep our communities vibrant.Read more
27 February 2017
Philip Hammond’s devastating business rate hikes should put to bed the myth that the Tories are the party of small businesses, argues Ibrahim Dogus
The news of catastrophic business rate hikes should put to bed once and for all the myth that the Tory party is somehow a friend to small and medium enterprises. Small and medium-sized businesses across the country are facing closure thanks to rate hikes so extreme that they may no longer be able to turn a profit. Businesses in London are seeing a rise of 42 per cent on average, varying depending on area. Businesses in Southwold in Suffolk, at the most extreme end of the rate hikes, will be seeing an increase of 152 per cent this April.Read more
5 January 2017
Labour must defend small and medium-sized businesses from hikes in business rates, argues Ibrahim Dogus
Small businesses in London are to be further burdened with a new hike in business rates. This is going to be a massive blow to the capital’s small businesses, compounding the troubles they have faced since Brexit. It is small businesses which are the life blood of our communities and the drive that makes our city great. Once again, it is shockingly clear how little this government cares about small businesses and communities.Read more
Labour is the natural friend of small businesses but the uncertainty of Brexit demands the country do more for SMEs
Ibrahim Dogus is Chair of SME4Labour
6 March 2017
Labour has in the past been tacitly and even directly accused of being inherently anti-business. The party has been accused of being out of touch with the communities of modern Britain. Both suggestions are patently false. But these suggestions are sadly widespread. And they were, I believe, partly what prompted people’s surprised reactions when we founded SME for Labour. These perceptions are something the Labour Party can and should work against – and there is no better time than this week with the Budget due on Wednesday.
On the evening of Monday the 23rd of January, SME4Labour hosted a dinner for members of the Labour Party at the House of Commons in partnership with the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE).
Leading Executive SME4Labour members Ibrahim Dogus and Sonny Leong attended the event along with the principal directors of IPSE including the Simon McVicker, the Director of Policy and Public Affairs. The event was hosted by Nick Brown MP with the aim of giving leading Labour MPs an opportunity to engage with small businesses, enterprises, the self-employed and independent professionals by identifying the Labour Party’s priorities and policies for the Small Business Sector.
SME4labour organised a roundtable meeting involving MPs Chuka Umunna and Bill Esterson, attended by an audience of small and medium business owners. It was hosted in Committee Room 19 at the House of Commons and kindly chaired by Ibrahim Dogus.
Chuka Umunna opened by firmly restating Labour’s commitment to being the party of small business, demonstrated under the last leadership. Chuka brought up his own family connection to the cause, his father having run a market stall, and related several times to the experiences of business owners on Streatham High Road in his constituency. Chuka made a three-point analysis of Labour’s relationship with SMEs. The first was that Labour, being the party of the working labour, had to be back ‘full-throttle’ the business that provide the majority of private sector work in the country. Secondly, SMEs provide high streets and communities with their unique character, so support for them is a fundamental part of Labour’s communitarian values. Finally, he pointed out that setting up a business is an act of challenging the market establishment - and Labour is very much about challenging the establishment!Read more
"The majority of workers in the UK are employed in small and medium sized enterprises. It is therefore very heartening that so many are signing up to the values of the Labour Party, encompassing as they do the issues of employment rights and fairness in the workplace. Our country needs successful businesses and with the right regulatory framework from a Labour Government and the right values in business we can all be successful together."
"Today people are aware that businesses can be greedy and selfish – particularly big ones but there is a growing appetite for ‘Social Enterprises’ as opposed to ‘for-profit businesses’. In my view – in particular with SMEs – there should be no difference a great business – that makes a profit to grow itself and reward those who created it and work in it should be a ‘social enterprise’ i.e. society should benefit inclusively. Its customers, staff, suppliers, shareholders, the community and the ecology should share in its success. If that were so, it is certain to grow…"
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SME4Labour was delighted to host its first annual gala on Monday 19 December. SME4Labour is a friends group of the Labour Party that works to strengthen the relationship between the party and small businesses, which are the backbone of the British economy and local communities. The event was attended by over 400 guests including over two dozen MPs and a number of Labour’s other elected politicians and peers. The gala, which took place at the Park Lane Sheraton Hotel in Piccadilly, also saw the launch of the first ever Labour Excellence Awards.Read more