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MP hails success of Chamber’s post-Budget business discussion forum

INTEREST rates, the employment market and delays to imports are among the challenges facing businesses in what remains a tough economic climate, a discussion forum has told Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart.

Mr Stewart was at Unity Place – the UK headquarters of banking giant Santander in Central Milton Keynes  – for the latest in a regular round table event with a cross-section of the local business community.

Delegates from major employers such as professional services giant KPMG, the British Standards Institute and The Open University sat down alongside SMEs and sole traders to update the MP. Mr Stewart pledged to feed back their views to ministers at Westminster.


Main picture: Iain Stewart (front centre) is pictured with the business representatives after the Round Table event at Unity Place


Sean Rose.

The event, hosted by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce, took place shortly after the government’s Spring Budget.

The Chamber’s head of policy and representation Sean Rose said: “It was clear from all the firms represented at this round table that there are still real challenges that are holding back business growth, from a difficult economic backdrop with high interest rates being maintained, a tight labour market and imports being held up with the challenges in the Red Sea.

“These roundtables are an excellent opportunity for our members to put their concerns and thoughts directly to elected officials.”

Mr Stewart said he would relay the opinions aired to the relevant government departments. Among the conversation was the government’s plan to help smaller businesses to take on apprentices.

“SMEs need skilled people to help them to meet orders and grow and apprenticeships are a great way of getting talent into businesses learning and earning,” Mr Stewart said.

“These types of roundtables with local businesses are useful for me to get a feel for how firms are feeling and feed this back into government departments – particularly to the Chancellor just after a large fiscal event like the Budget.”

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