Jonathan Reynolds, the Shadow Secretary of State for Business & Trade, visited the Midlands to hear from companies ahead of a General Election that is set to take place over the next 12 months.
The event took place at Visku, the supply chain and logistics company based in Wellingborough, and was jointly organised by the Northamptonshire Chamber & Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, and the British Chambers of Commerce.
Louise Wall, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire Chamber & Milton Keynes and Commercial Director of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber, introduced Mr Reynolds to the audience of around 100 business people, where he set out plans to reform planning, business rates and international trade.
Louise said: “We’re delighted to bring businesses together with senior figures from the world of politics. The Chamber takes a neutral stance when it comes to party politics, but we know it’s important for our members to be able to hear from, and put their views to, all of the main parties.
“Our members are very vocal when it comes to the issues that are holding back growth so this was a great opportunity for them to engage with, and put their questions to, Jonathan Reynolds and see how Labour might find solutions to those issues should they form the next Government.”
Mr Reynolds said: “I want to make this a genuine conversation with business and that’s why I am grateful to the Chambers of Commerce for putting this event on and it underlines the great strength of the Chamber network.
“Running a business is hard at the best of times. It means putting in a huge amount of hours, which takes significant commitment, and that’s something that I respect and appreciate.
“I also know that Governments don’t make businesses successful. It’s your hard work, your vision and drive for success that does that. However, Governments can either make that more difficult with their policies or they can make it easier when they get things right.
“That’s why it’s important that we listen to business and have this conversation.”