I have always been very supportive of local business and was proud to be asked to be a ‘Small Business Ambassador.' and subsequently a Small Business Minister in Government. It has been really interesting to meet a number of local businesses and to signpost them to schemes and grants which could further sustain and enhance their business. This was especially important during covid, and I was delighted to see many businesses using new, innovative ways of delivering services and engaging with customers and clients. Watford is home to a vast array of industries, and we have a plethora of small businesses as well as being home to the Head Office of companies such as Hilton and TJX Europe.
The night-time economy is particularly critical to Watford, which is why I launched a petition to safeguard Pryzm Nightclub. I wholeheartedly welcomed the news that a new 5-year lease has been agreed for 5 years so that future generations can continue to enjoy this iconic nightclub.
I have thoroughly enjoyed leading ‘Self Employment Roundtables’ in partnership with the local Job Centre Plus and have led mentoring sessions to help support and advise those starting their own business. Self-employed individuals are so important to our country and our economy. They take risks to be innovative and it is rarely a smooth or straight forward journey, and I commend them for taking such a leap of faith.
It has also been great to re-launch the annual Watford Jobs Fair to help those seeking employment enter the workforce, or to support those looking to upskill.