Nearly a month has passed since the General Election, in which the Liberal Democrats suffered their worst defeat since 1970. Now the political group are starting afresh, as they aim to represent SMEs across the country.
Tim Farron, who is the former president of the Liberal Democrats and intends to run for the leadership of the party after Nick Clegg resigned last month, has been commenting on the state of small businesses today in The Spectator.
After winning just 8 seats during the general election, the Liberal Democrats are now the fourth largest party in the country. Farron believes that ‘‘when you’re a smaller party it naturally gives you an understanding of what it feels like to be an underdog, and a passion to level the playing field.’’
Although the new Conservative government has pledged to improve the landscape for British businesses, Farron has stated that local businesses have been neglected by both Labour and the Conservatives, with ‘‘Labour remaining in hock to the trade unions; the Tories genuflect before big business. The liberal tradition is anti-monopoly, pro-competition and supports the promotion of fairness for all.’’
If Farron becomes the leader of the Liberal Democrats, he aims to ask some tough questions regarding the state of SMEs.
‘‘We must ask why less than a third of entrepreneurs are women, how job centres are helping the disabled find work, why black and ethnic minority entrepreneurs have difficulty getting loans. It’s time for those who care about small businesses to make their voice heard.’’
Alain Desmier, founding member of the Liberal Democrats entrepreneurial network, has also called for the Lib Dems to be pro-small business.
‘‘People that start businesses want to do things differently rather than just take a monthly salary, let’s give them a chance to make a difference in their local community by championing our entrepreneurial approach and putting their skill sets to work in our local communities,’’ said Desmier.