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Lib Dem ‘Think Small First’ campaign will benefit London businesses

March 1, 2012 2:25 PM

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford is pressing to get rid of outdated EU business laws and simplify accounting rules, in order to promote the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and create more jobs. Europe has approximately 23 million SMEs (4.5 million in the UK) which provide two-thirds of all jobs in the private sector.

Liberal Democrat MEPs have launched a Europe-wide campaign to boost successful entrepreneurship in the UK and across the EU. On the eve of a meeting of European prime ministers dedicated to growth initiatives and competitiveness, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group in the European Parliament to which UK LibDem MEPs belong is stepping up pressure on national governments and the European Commission to improve the conditions for SMEs to thrive.

Sarah Ludford commented:

"According to a survey by the Federation of Small Business (FSB), 62% of small firms in London are looking to grow over the next year. It is vital that they are given the utmost support and as many opportunities to thrive because they play a key part in expanding the UK economy and driving innovation."

"This initiative is all about creating and safeguarding local jobs. I am keen to listen to local businesses to learn what needs to be done to free their potential and to give them a strong voice at the European level. Let's put smaller firms at the top of the political agenda."

Tina Sommer chairman for EU and international affairs at the FSB, commented:

"It is the cumulative effect of legislation and the constant changes made to regulations that impose the burden on businesses. We therefore welcome the increased focus on reducing this burden on small businesses in these harsh times. However, a sweeping culture change among all policy makers to 'Think Small First', resulting in lighter regulation or exemptions such as the accountancy rules for micro businesses, is yet to be seen."

Notes to Editors

Sarah is pictured at the launch of the ALDE campaign with Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, Antonio Tajani.

The ALDE SME Manifesto containing 22 concrete measures aimed at boosting SMEs can be downloaded here:

A recent study present by the European Commission on 16 January 2012 has revealed that six in ten new jobs are created by small enterprises. The study and further analysis on how SMEs impact the EU's labour market can be found here:

More statistics from the London regional FSB office can be found here: