Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Lancaster MP to muck in as "Business Buddy"

Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw is taking part in a scheme to make our politicians more aware of modern business later this month.

The "Business Buddy" scheme - organised by the Forum of Private Business - aims to offer MPs work experience placements to “learn about the realities of running a small business.”

The Forum invited every MP, MSP and Assembly Member in Britain to take part in its ‘Business Buddy’ scheme, which will see the politicians placed in small businesses in their constituencies.

The FBP tells us Mr Ollrenshaw has been partnered with Fleetwood-based company Boris Net.

Run by John Howard, Boris Nets is an international company specialising in the design and manufacture of nets and netting support systems for various markets including the aquaculture, fishing, construction, Sports and Leisure sectors -- as well as for many other specific industrial applications.

Almost 100 MPs have signed up to the scheme so far, including Cabinet Office ministers Vince Cable and Oliver Letwin, the latter spending time at a pie shop in his West Dorset constituency in September. Tourism Minister John Penrose went to work in a company in the tourism industry in his Weston-super-Mare constituency.

The FPB are asking each MP to spend at least half a day with the business they visit and hope to match ministers “with businesses relevant to their roles wherever possible”.

“It’s all well and good for lobby groups like the Forum to tell the government about the issues facing small businesses," explained the Forum’s head of campaigns, Jane Bennett, "but there’s no substitute for first-hand experience.

"We want politicians to see for themselves what it’s like to run a small business – that’s why we developed the Business Buddy scheme.”

So far, Morecambe and Lunesdale David Morris hasn't signed up for the scheme - but as a former hairdresser and property developer, he's probably well aware of the issues faced by small business.

The Business Buddy initiative forms part of the FPB’s campaign, ‘Get Britain Trading’, which launched earlier this year.

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