Hartlepool MP is battling to big up businesses

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright gives his speech at the Commons meeting.
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright gives his speech at the Commons meeting.

Small North East businesses are punching massively above their weight – and they must be given a chance to grow further.

That was the message from Hartlepool’s MP Iain Wright in a speech to a packed House of Commons gathering.

He was guest speaker at the launch of the Octopus High Growth Small Business (HGSB) Report 2015, showing businesses should be seen as the force for the country’s revival.

The region has the second fewest high-growth small businesses in the UK at 600, but they made up 33% of the total growth in the region last year.

If there were as many HGSBs in the North East as there are in the South East, our region would have an extra 99,800 jobs.

The report calls for increasing the number of HGSBs by 25% in every region in the next five years.

Mr Wright, who is also Labour chairman of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, said the report shows how businesses were key to the economy of the UK and “key to growth in every region, particularly in the North”.

He added: “We need to ensure that these companies have the opportunity to grow still further, providing great opportunities across the countries.

“MPs will want to back these businesses, as they provide prosperity and job growth in every constituency.”

Octopus chief executive Simon Rogerson, said: “These are the companies that could make a real difference to people’s lives in the North East, through their innovation and tremendous contribution to the local economy.”