Morecambe’s Labour candidate outlines small business shake-up plans

Lizzi Collinge with Tom Chesters at Bay Framing in Morecambe.
Lizzi Collinge with Tom Chesters at Bay Framing in Morecambe.

More than 90 per cent of businesses in Morecambe and Lunesdale would upgrade to full fibre broadband under Labour Party plans to create a Business Development Agency (BDA).

Lizzi Collinge, The party’s candidate for the area, said other pledges for the BDA include action on late payments, flexibility over the use of the Apprenticeship Levy, and switching to annual business rate valuations.

The BDA - which would provide a network of business advisers operating out of larger Post Bank (Post Office) branches - would become a one stop shop for championing small businesses and accessing business finance and support.

Under the plans a Labour government said it would upgrade 92.4 per cent of premises in Morecambe and Lunesdale to full fibre broadband, Ms Collinge said.

“Morecambe and Lunesdale are blessed with many small businesses, often passed down through families and providing a great service to customers,” she said.

“I am committed to ensuring all small businesses can thrive by committing to Labour’s 20 pledges.

“These include taking action on late payments, access to a new Business Development Agency, more flexibility over how they use the Apprenticeship Levy and making sure all businesses have access to fibre broadband.”

Additional pledges in Labour’s 20-point plan include:

· A £250 billion UK National Investment Bank and network of Regional and National Development Banks to give small businesses and the industries of the future the funding they need.

· Stamping out late payments that hit smaller businesses.

· Scrapping quarterly reporting for businesses with a turnover of under £85,000.

· Providing free full fibre broadband to every business premises.

· Giving SMEs access to funding for training raised through the Apprenticeship Levy.

· Using government procurement to support SMEs and economic growth.

· Fundamentally reforming the outdated business rates system, including switching to annual valuations.