More than 100 organisations from across Northamptonshire met the Minister for Small Businesses this month at an exclusive event organised by business membership organisation NNBN.

MP Kevin Hollinrake, appointed the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business in October, was the special guest at a business brunch at Kettering Park Hotel – talking to local businesses, charities and social enterprises about everything from cashflow challenges and business support to our county’s food and drink sector, incentives for the self-employed and the challenges faced by the high street.

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone, who helped organise the Minister’s visit, summarised the event: “Many congratulations to NNBN on organising this business brunch. There was a real buzz in the room and the Minister, who comes from a 30-year business background himself, really connected with the audience, knowing from bitter experience the ups and downs of working in small business.
He listened, he was impressed by the optimism in the room and he shared his ambitions for how the government might help small businesses succeed in the years ahead.”

The Minister, who spent an extra hour at the end of the event chatting to businesses and answering more questions, said: “I really enjoyed my visit to Kettering where I met businesses from across Northamptonshire. I was challenged on many areas of the government’s business and economic policy. Coming from a small business background myself I appreciate how much hard work goes into making a small business successful and I am determined to do my bit as business minister to help small businesses succeed in the months and years ahead.”

At the NNBN event the Minister stressed what he called “the need for stability – economic, political and regulatory”. He went on to say that small businesses need a stable background in order to do well.
He also stressed the need for the government to simplify regulations and let businesses succeed.

NNBN Director Simon Cox said: “This was a huge coup for Northamptonshire, with our local businesses meeting the Minister, asking questions, raising concerns, and hearing about plans for the UK business economy and how this might directly affect individual businesses. It was a privilege to showcase our local business community and our diverse and exceptional innovation, talent and expertise to this leading politician.”

NNBN was launched just over a year ago to support businesses, charities and organisations in North Northamptonshire. From this month [March 2023] NNBN is officially expanding into West Northamptonshire to become a Countywide service.