A new social media campaign is giving prospective politicians in the North East the chance to communicate directly with small businesses, learning first-hand about the challenges they face.
The #ibacksmallbusiness campaign forms the centrepiece of the Federation of Small Businesses’ work in advance of the 2015 General Election, in light of which the organisation has produced a Business Manifesto, outling five key areas that need to be addressed by any aspiring new Government:
- Delivering a sustained economic recovery
- Rebalancing the economy
- Creating high quality jobs and full employment
- Making all markets work better and
- Lowering the cost of doing business
Supported by a dedicated website, www.ibacksmallbusiness.com , the social media campaign encourages prospective candidates and small businesses to share content - including videos, infographics and quotes - on social platforms.
The aim is that prospective parliamentary candidates can thereby see and hear the challenges facing small businesses in the constituencies they wish to serve.
By tweeting or posting #ibacksmallbusiness, they can also show support for the small business community.
The launch follows over six months of engagement between FSB members, Government ministers and shadow ministers, during which the organisation has expressed its views on how to make running small businesses easier.
It also coincides with the progression of the first ever Small Business Bill through parliament - a key milestone in the growing recognition of how much small firms contribute to the UK economy.
Ted Salmon, the FSB’s North East regional chairman, said: “#ibacksmallbusiness is a unique opportunity for those wishing to win a seat in the next Parliament in the North East to talk directly with small business owners via social media.
“Our business manifesto is the product of months of direct engagement with real small businesses in the North East and across the UK. It plainly outlines what the next Government needs to do to support entrepreneurs seeking to start a new business or grow an existing firm.
“Over the coming months we expect candidates claiming to support small firms to get behind the #ibacksmallbusiness campaign and commit to taking the measures in our business manifesto forward in the next Parliament.”
The FSB is the UK’s leading business organisation, with around 200,000 members. It aims to protect and promote the interests of entrepreneurs and those who run their own businesses.