Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch demonstrated her commitment to small businesses last week by officially opening the FSB’s new offices in Westminster at 10 Dean Farrar Street. During the opening ceremony, the Secretary of State committed to tackling late payments, reducing regulatory barriers and boosting exports – harnessing the two halves of her Department, Business and Trade, to focus on small firms. Ms Badenoch was then introduced to and conversed with several pioneering small business owners in attendance.
Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: “Small businesses are the cornerstones of our high streets and the backbone of our economy – which is why the work we do with the Federation of Small Businesses is so important. With dedicated small business chapters in our Free Trade Agreements, more than £1bn in startup loans for SMEs, plus my drive to cut red tape and burdensome regulations – this government is making sure we create the right environment for small businesses to grow and thrive.”
FSB National Chair Martin McTague said: “It’s an honour to have Secretary of State Kemi Badenoch to open FSB’s new offices today. It was also very reassuring to hear her say that, following recent and extensive consultation with FSB, her Department will move to tackle late payments – a nut that we think can be cracked, with the right political leadership. Together with pledges on regulation and new export support, we welcome commitments to our members and the broader small business & self-employed community that we look after.
“FSB has always benefited from firm relationships and an open dialogue with ministers. It’s through these regular and meaningful conversations with about policy recommendations, backed up by evidence from our member research, that FSB has maintained its position as the most credible and trusted voice of small businesses and the self-employed, heard by the highest level of Government, for almost 50 years.
“Thank you to the Secretary of State for making time in her incredibly busy schedule to show how she values us by opening our offices today. I look forward to continuing to work with her and her team on policy decisions that help to further the success of small businesses.”
FSB’s new Westminster office is a significant investment in FSB’s future, with the space being extensively reconfigured and refurbished over the last 12 months. Created to a high specification that allows the team to work in a modern, collaborative and flexible way, it was designed and refurbished by Oaktree Interiors, an SME based in Berkshire and Westminster.
It is home to FSB’s UK External Affairs staff teams – media, communications & PR, policy, public affairs, international affairs, business support, the offices of the national chair and policy chair, and London regional staff. The location – a stone’s throw from the Palace of Westminster – allows for regular in-person meetings with key stakeholders as well as members.
Prior to moving to 10 Dean Farrar Street, the team was based at Catherine Place, Westminster, in a converted historic Edwardian townhouse, split across five floors. That space is now successfully run as a co-working space for small businesses.