It was great to hold talks with local business leaders, at a lunch hosted by NatWest in Dover, about the massive projects coming to the area – and the potential impact of Brexit.
Local businesses know we are trying to build a better future for Dover and Deal. It was encouraging to hear how hard they work and how much they want us to succeed.
I was joined by Sue Robinson from CMS Employment Agency Ltd, Paula Elliott from Pitmans Training, Martin Husk from Coombe Valley Transport Ltd, Simon Crowley from Tersons Estate Agents, Ian Pascall from McCabe Ford Williams, Roland Parry from the Battle of Britain Memorial, and Steve Oxenham from Majestic Freight Forwarding.
We all hope the St James and Western Docks projects will put more money in people's pockets, and more footfall on our high streets. But these small business are the ones who have stuck at it through tough times. They kept the local economy ticking over, often with little or no outside help.
Small and medium-sized businesses have created 3.4 million new jobs in the private sector in the past 15 years. That's ten times more than big businesses. They are the lifeblood of our economy.
I promised to do keep doing everything I can to ensure small businesses get support and investment so our area has the best chance of a brighter future.
It was great Dover's NatWest Bank hosted this gathering. The local NatWest tell me they are deeply committed to backing local business and more local jobs. I want to thank them for getting everyone together.
Here you can read about local news matters and what I've been up to. You can make comments too. I'd welcome your feedback, so please do feel free to comment!