Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb speaks to the Western Mail on the importance of Wales' small businesses
This article will be published in the Western Mail on Wednesday, November 11th
Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb said to the Western Mail:
Wales’ small business owners are the true heroes of the Welsh economic revival.
These are the risk takers and entrepreneurs who seize the opportunity to follow their dreams, build a business from scratch and reap the rewards as they watch it grow.
In November, the list of companies in this year’s Fast Growth 50 will again demonstrate the ambition and innovation powering economic growth in Wales.
Companies like Sure Chill, developing the technology to chill vaccines and syringes without power in the world’s hottest climates. They are pioneering this from an office at the foot of Snowdonia.
Or Activequote, which has created more than 70 jobs on the back of its specialist price comparison product.
And Rio Architects, designers of the first potential office building at Cardiff’s Central Square regeneration scheme.
Across the industrial estates, offices and incubator spaces of Wales, small businesses are cultivating their world-beating ideas and turning their passion into action.
Together small and medium sized businesses employ three quarters of people working in the private sector in Wales.
For the past five years, this Government has been doing the heavy lifting to create the best conditions for businesses to thrive by reducing the deficit and cutting corporation tax.
With a strengthening economy, Wales is a great place to build a business.
The British Business Bank has guaranteed more than 1,100 loans to support small businesses in Wales and we have increased the Employment Allowance to help small businesses and charities meet the cost of taking on workers. The Enterprise Allowance has seen thousands in Wales move off benefits and into business.
But we know that for businesses to become established, they also need world-class infrastructure and to feel that the Government is an enabler, not a roadblock to innovation.
That’s why we are supporting the extensive overhaul of the railway network in Wales, the roll-out of high speed broadband and the Cardiff City Deal; forward-looking developments to support business growth.
We desperately need to rebalance the economy away from a reliance on London and the South East of England.
We are already seeing the Welsh economy growing faster than every other part of the UK but our radical Northern Powerhouse agenda has the potential to bring enormous benefits to North Wales,
The Northern Powerhouse is designed to raise the growth rate of the northern regions by encouraging businesses, the public sector and partners to pool their resources. It provides a tremendous opportunity for the businesses of North Wales to build on the strength of the already long-established links across the border.
By backing the Northern Powerhouse, we will stand to create more jobs in a country that is already going to work in record numbers. Welfare reform is working in Wales and we are breaking down the cycles of dependency that have held back our nation for too long .
Innovative and exciting companies like those in the Fast Growth 50 are a showcase for world-class Welsh business talent. Let’s use use the vision and flair of our entrepreneurs to go all out for the goal of a thriving enterprise economy.