GCA CEO Amanda Fergusson attended the Genesis Business Senate at House of Commons on 18th October 2023.
The meeting was attended by Kevin Hollinrake MP, the small businesses minister who is also responsible for post. Mark Hart, deputy director of the Enterprise Research Centre, and professor of small business and entrepreneurship at Aston Business School.
The spoke about access to finance for small businesses, and the challenges of red tape faced by many small businesses owners. Kevin Hollinrake MP said the government wanted to increase the grants available for small business to access and spoke about the importance of small businesses to the government, speaking about his previous experience as a small business owner.
Amanda highlighted the greeting card industry’s concern at the further recent stamp prices and the fact that a greeting card that is more than 5mm thick now costs £1.55 to post 2nd class, 100% more than the standard 75p price held under the Universal Service Obligation. The minister reflected on his last meeting with Amanda at the National Federation of Sub-postmasters, and highlighted the fact that standard 2nd class stamp prices, under the USO, had not increased and said he was committed to retaining 6 day a week delivery.
Mark Hart spoke about his research on mico-businesses, and the fact than many of them are lifestyle businesses that don’t aspire to grow beyond a certain point but provide a living for a small group of employees (less than 10, often less than 4 people). He was working with government in this area, informing the government about the UK’s micro business community and the importance of these businesses to the UK economy. Amanda spoke about the fact that many businesses in the greeting card sector were micro-businesses, highlighting that the industry contributes £1.5bn at retail a year to the UK economy, raising the issue that exporting and red-tape are issues that adversely affect many in the industry.
See PGBuzz report on the senate meeting