Last Thursday, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, Michael Fallon MP, Tim Loughton MP and I visited Shoreham for a discussion and Q&A session with local businesses at Sussex pie-maker Higgidy. Higgidy, which makes pies and quiches for retailers including Sainsbury’s and Waitrose at their Dolphin Road kitchen, and their MD James Footitt, kindly offered to host the event, which was an informal occasion designed to facilitate a genuine discussion. Over 30 local businesses came along and grilled the Minister over an hour on issues such as why has the retirement age been abolished and why should businesses have to fund individual pensions. Some of the issues raised will be sent to the Chancellor ahead of this spring’s Budget.
The Minister was invited so that he could meet small businesses at firsthand and Michael was keen to hear some of the challenges they are facing and discuss what the Government can do to help. Businesses such as Paula Rosa Manhattan, ETI and Snugglebundl who will soon be appearing on Dragons Den. Thank you Higgidy for hosting this event – the pies and sausage rolls were delicious!