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26 May 2017

The Scottish Liberal Democrats' Jo Swinson talks small business and the General Election

FSB spoke with Jo Swinson, Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for East Dunbartonshire and former Business Minister ahead of June's General Election. 

Why should smaller business owners in Scotland vote for the Scottish Liberal Democrats? Jo Swinson

The Scottish Liberal Democrats don't want any new barriers to doing business. Cutting ties with our biggest economic markets makes no sense in terms of trade, jobs or incomes. Increasing opportunities for collaboration and commerce is essential to our prosperity. We're the only party offering the public the final say on whether they accept the Brexit deal brought back from Brussels.

What are your party’s top three policies that would help Scottish smaller firms and the self-employed? 

  • We know for some small business owners, getting to market can be the hardest stage. That's why we are proposing a new ‘start up allowance’ to get entrepreneurs off the ground, worth up to £2,600.
  • Employers tell us there are skills gaps in many industries. Under the SNP Government, there are now 152,000 fewer college places. Our transformational investment in education would repair colleges and ensure people of all ages are ready for the working world.
  • We will also expand the work of the British Business Bank. This already helps 2000 companies in Scotland to grow and create jobs.

What’s been your favourite small business that you’ve visited while campaigning? 

It's got to be Huntershill Village in Bishopbriggs, a family-run retail and business park that's home to a variety of new and growing companies. In particular it has a fabulous coffee shop with delicious home-baking, and I popped in for lunch with Shirley Williams recently when she made a campaign visit to East Dunbartonshire.


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