Small Business & Enterprise

Event Invite: Going Global – Boosting Lambeth’s Exports

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Celebrating Streatham’s London Leaders 2012

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Chuka recently got an opportunity to congratulate Streatham’s London Leaders 2012, Zoe Robinson and Paula Owen, and had a chance to discuss their views on sustainability and Streatham business issues, with Lee Alley, below.

Visiting Brixton Market

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Last Friday Chuka Umunna took the opportunity to show off his constituency and the borough of Lambeth to an audience of parliamentary dignataries from around the world.

Chuka hosted dignitaries from Ghana, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Canada, Australia and India, begining a tour of the area in his office off Streatham High Road before taking them around the Brixton Market and to a meeting with the Brixton Market Traders Federation.

The visiting MPs were all members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association which is an Association of Commonwealth Parliamentarians who, irrespective of gender, race, religion or culture, are united by community of interest, respect for the rule of law and individual rights and freedoms, as well as the pursuit of the positive ideals of Parliamentary democracy.

Local MP shows off Lambeth to the World

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Streatham MP Chuka Umunna took the opportunity to show off Lambeth to the world by taking MPs from other parliaments and legislatures around the world on a tour of his constituency and the borough of Lambeth introducing them to the Brixton Market Traders Federation along the way. 
 
Mr Umunna hosted dignitaries from Ghana, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Canada, Australia and India, meeting them first in his office off Streatham High Road before showing them around the Streatham constituency. He also took the visiting MPs to meet businesses in Brixton Market and representatives of Brixton Market Traders Federation.
 
The visiting MPs were all members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). The CPA which is an Association of Commonwealth Parliamentarians who, irrespective of gender, race, religion or culture, are united by community of interest, respect for the rule of law and individual rights and freedoms, as well as the pursuit of the positive ideals of Parliamentary democracy.
 
The MPs who visited included the Hon. Ahmed Ibrahim MP from Ghana, the Hon. Clement Llombwa from Malawi, Mr Muhammad Afzal Sandhu MNA from Pakistan, the Hon. Arundika Fernando MP from Sri Lanka and from Ms Jiny Sims MP from Canada. Also present were representatives of the Indian and Australian Parliaments. 
 
Mr Umunna, who grew up in the Streatham constituency, said he was immensely proud of the Borough and wanted to use every opportunity to advertise all the good things the area has to offer to the world. Mr Umunna also said that the high Diaspora population and global links in the area meant it should be well placed to exploit the demand coming from emerging economies around the world.
 
Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP said:
 
“I am immensely proud of the area that I come from and that represent. It was great to be able to show off our area to Parliamentarians from around the world. Too often we focus on the negative things we have to deal with as a community but I also think we should take every opportunity to celebrate the good things Lambeth has to offer.
 
“The area’s high Diaspora population and global reach should make it a hugely attractive place to do business and we should do more to realise the opportunities that our global links give us.”

Chuka’s business walkabout in Streatham Hill

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Chuka visits businesses in Streatham HillLast week Chuka visited several businesses in Streatham Hill with Angelina Purcell, Streatham’s Town Centre Manager. The visit was a good opportunity for Chuka to get the latest news from businesses in Streatham so as to best inform the work he does to support businesses in the constituency, both locally and in Parliament. The walkabout was also a good opportunity to find out how well the new Alert box scheme is working to help businesses work together and stay safe.

 

 

 

High Street Walkabout in Streatham Vale

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Chuka Umunna, MP for the Streatham constituency, made another of his regular visits to local High Streets today.

Chuka visited Streatham Vale businesses including, amongst others, Superchoice newsagents, Covenant Hair & Beauty, Watts Pharmacy, The Village Card Shop, and Gow Gow, a new pet grooming business.

As MP for the area, Mr Umunna considers it vital to keep in touch with how local business owners are doing and what issues they are facing so that he can be of assistance. Among the issues discussed was what action needs to be taken to tackle anti-social behaviour and provide security to business, as well as how important it is to get banks lending.

Mr Umunna makes regular visits to local High Streets and earlier this month visited shops in Greyhound Lane. As Shadow Business Secretary, Mr Umunna is responsible for holding the Government to account for their Business policies, as well as for making sure that the Government do more to secure economic and business growth. High Street Walkabouts in his constituency are a good way for Mr Umunna to make sure local concerns are communicated in Parliament.

High Street Walkabout: Greyhound Lane

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

 

Chuka Umunna today visited Greyhound Lane to talk to local business owners and employees about their needs and concerns.

Visiting Greyhound Lane Mr Umunna talked to local business owners and employees, as well as representatives from the Police about problems with anti-social behaviour and street drinking, as well as about concerns raised that not enough has been done by the Government to ensure confidence in our economy, and that this is having a negative impact on local businesses.

As MP for the Streatham constituency, Mr Umunna regularly visits local High Streets to listen to their concerns and see what help he can give as the local MP. In Mr Umunna’s role as Shadow Business Secretary he is responsible for holding the Government to account for their business policies and ensuring the Government does more to enable businesses to grow. High Street Walkabouts are a good way to quickly transfer local concerns to action in Parliament.

What the autumn statement means for Londoners

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

For Londoners today’s Autumn Statement means

• Rising travelcard costs and no end in sight for farepayers. Only Ken will cut fares and set a course that ensures a fairer deal for Londoners.

• Tory Mayor Boris Johnson has failed to get a decent settlement for London out of the Autumn Statement. He has been awarded 4 out of 40 projects for the Infrastructure Fund lower than almost every other English region. Of the 4 projects that have been announced, only two are actually funded.

• George Osborne’s remarks about a Silvertown river crossing and a Northern line extension are little more than warm words. There is little or no detail on how the projects would be delivered or funded.

• The Government should take up Labour’s five point plan for growth and jobs – which will give up to 334,000 London firms a tax break to take on more workers, create 11,500 jobs for young Londoners and build 5,000 new homes.

More Tory fare rises

Today’s fares announcement by the Tory Mayor and Tory Chancellor means rising travelcard costs and no end in sight for farepayers:

• This is the fourth consecutive year of inflation-busting fares under the Tory mayor

• Fares in London have risen faster than anywhere else in the country during tough

economic times. Boris Johnson should use the £729 million of surplus money in his TfL budget to keep fares low.

• If Ken is elected Mayor in May 2012, in October 2012 he will cut fares, then freeze them the whole of the following year and ensure that they rise by no more than inflation in the following two years.

London’s economy in worse state

The London economy is in a worse state than it has been for more than 15 years

• 410,000 people are now unemployed in London, almost one in ten of the population. Unemployment in London is now higher than it has been at any other point since 1994. According to the latest estimates from ONS, more than one in four young people in London is unemployed.

• Only 56 affordable homes were built in London in the last 6 months, and the number of housing starts in the last quarter went down by more than 50% on the previous year.

• Between January and September, the number of 18-24 year olds on the dole for more than 6 months has doubled in more than half of London’s boroughs.

• A survey by Travelex yesterday showed that 59% of small and medium sized businesses in London expect to go into a double dip recession.

Infrastructure projects cut

The government is cutting not investing in infrastructure.

• Only 4 out of the 40 infrastructure projects outlined today are in London, less than the 10 in Yorkshire and the Humber, and less than the West Midlands, the North West, the South East and the East of England. This is despite the fact that unemployment is higher in London than anywhere else apart from the North East.

• The Tory-led Government got rid of the London Development Agency as well as agencies to promote tourism and inward investment in London

• And even these 4 are beginning to unravel once the detail emerges:

I. The Northern Line extension is a wish not a commitment. London will get no money from the Government for the Northern Line extension, and no guarantee that it will be allowed to borrow. At the earliest, this project will only begin in mid 2013.(In the Autumn Statement it says “Subject to commitment by April 2013 from a developer to develop the site and make agreed contributions, the Government will consider allowing the Mayor of London and partner authorities to borrow against the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to support this scheme.”)

II. If London receives the same as the other super-connected cities – it will get only £2 million of funding next year – 26p for every citizen

III. There are no commitments on where or when new river crossings will be built or how they will be funded. (In the Autumn Statement it says “the Government will work with the Mayor of London and Transport for London to explore options for proposed additional river crossings, for example at Silvertown.”

Child tax credits cut

As a result of George Osborne’s cuts to tax credits:

• 561,900 families in London will lose out as a result of the changes to the child element of the child tax credit

• 323,600 families in London will lose out as a result of the freeze on the couple and lone parent element of the working tax credit.

In 2008 Boris Johnson axed the childcare affordability programme which had delivered affordable childcare for thousands of London children.

Pay freezes

As a result of George Osborne’s further reductions in public sector pay

• 719,000 public sector workers will experience just 1% pay increases in the two years after a pay freeze ending in 2013. This will impoverish well over a million households in London, who will experience falling real pay every year for the lifetime of the Tory-led government

Labour’s 5 point plan in London would:

1. Create up to 11,500 jobs for young people and build 5,000 homes

2. Bring forward investment projects like new school buildings

3. Temporarily reverse the Tory-led Government’s VAT rise – a £450 boost for families with children

4. Cut VAT on home improvements to 5% for a year

5. Give up to 334,000 small firms a tax break to take on extra workers

Standing up for our High Streets

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Chuka Umunna MP has written to Mary Portas ahead of her Independent Review into the health of Britain’s High Streets.

Chuka, who as MP for the Streatham constituency represents the longest High Street in Europe, along the A23, including Streatham High Road, regularly meets with local business so as to bring their concerns to Parliament.

To find out more click here.

Local MP stands up for High Streets

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Chuka Umunna MP has written to Mary Portas ahead of her report into the health of Britain’s High Streets and is due to meet with her along with other MPs to advance the case for local business.

Mary Portas, who has showcased her years of retail business experience in hit Channel 4 shows such as ‘Mary Queen of Shops’ and ‘Secret Shopper’ was asked by the government to provide an independent report on what can be done to aid Britain’s High Streets following criticism that enough was being done to foster confidence and support growth.

It is a particularly challenging time for local High Streets which are grappling with the Government’s VAT rise and low consumer spending and confidence. As MP for the Streatham constituency Chuka Umunna represents an area that includes the longest section of High Street in Europe, along the A23, including Streatham High Road.

Chuka Umunna, who is the Shadow Business Secretary, has written, along with fellow Labour MP’s Harriet Harman, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Hilary Benn, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, in order to ensure that concerns about the future of Britain’s High Streets are taken into account.

The MPs are calling for the Government to enact Labour’s four-point to give local retailers the boost they need given the difficult economic situation nationally. They are calling on the Government to introduce a temporary VAT cut from 20% to 17.5%, putting £450 into every family’s pocket; to amend the the Localism Bill to give communities power to develop a strategy for retail growth in their own area; to give Councils the funds to reinvigorate high-streets blighted by empty shops; and to ensure that small business can compete fairly with big business by putting a fair competition test into the planning system.

In their letter the MPs raised their concern that chain betting shops are putting negative pressures on local high streets and exploiting vulnerable people. Gambling machines which can take up to £18,000 an hour are currently in use on London’s High Streets and there are serious concerns that deprived areas and vulnerable people are most at risk from gambling addiction and resultant hardship.

In the next few weeks Chuka Umunna MP will be continuing his regular walkabouts with local businesses and will continue to work hard to transform their concerns into positive action in Parliament.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP said:

“I have written to Mary Portas to make the case for High Streets in my constituency and up and down the country. The Conservative-led Government, through actions such as the ill-advised VAT rise, has created a dangerous lack of confidence that is making life incredibly difficult for hard working local retailers.”

“Our Constituency has so many vibrant local Shops and it is essential that we do all we can to support them. I will be fighting the case for local businesses both in Parliament and on the ground in my constituency”