Liberal Democrats in Luton say urgent action is needed to help local small businesses survive the looming recession.
As the impact of the credit crunch begins to impact on people in Luton they point to the plan put forward by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and the Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable which calls for:
A substantial cut in interest rates to lower the cost of loans and investment;
The immediate overhauling of the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme to improve government support for business loans;
Banks which receive government financial assistance to adopt a new code of conduct on rearranging business credit and overdrafts;
Energy companies to develop an assistance package for small businesses struggling with high energy bills.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy here in Luton” says Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Luton South, Qurban Hussain.
“It is vital that we give them a fighting chance to get through the recession. The government has given a massive bailout to the banks. But ministers must now look at the bigger economy. Small businesses here in Luton are suffering from the downturn. Profits are being squeezed and jobs are at risk.”
The Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Luton North, Rabi Martins, claims that a cut in interest rates could bring a big boost to many local businesses. “It could mean the difference between staying open or closing down with the consequent loss of local jobs. Around half of the Luton employees actually work for small firms who employ no more than ten people so small business is vital for local services and for the local economy.”
Qurban Hussain and Rabi Martins will be meeting with local businesses over the coming weeks to discuss how they are preparing for the expected recession and what they think local and national government could do to help.