Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, has called upon the Government and Local Enterprise Partnerships to do more to help small businesses in the North East get access to funding streams.
This follows a report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) showing that small businesses across the North East are seven times less likely to have won key Government funding compared their London counterparts. Since 2009, the Small Business Research Initiative has delivered £810m of funding through Innovate UK. Of this £810m, small businesses in the North East have received £25m compared to £181m that has gone to London. Only Northern Ireland and Wales perform worse in terms of attracting this funding.
I know that the North East is home to many innovative start-ups and small businesses, and that with a bit more encouragement from the Government and LEPs, they could win vital funding available to them. To do so would be a huge opportunity for North East businesses to thrive and help the Tees Valley achieve its ambitions.
Reducing the North-South divide, whether it be in education, health or business investment, should be a top priority of the Government, and I’m calling on it to demonstrate a real commitment to this aim by ensuring small businesses in Stockton North and across the North East have a fair access to funding.