Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Small Business Commissioner Paul Uppal to visit Leicester Food Park

Small Business Commissioner Paul Uppal is to pay a visit on Tuesday to the new Leicester Food Park to see first-hand the great contribution being made to our local economy by Leicestershire’s thriving food sector.

Mr Uppal will also hear about the Better Business for All (BBfA) project, which looks at how business regulations are applied at a local level. Here at the LLEP, our approach to implementing BBfA has been collaborative, first and foremost. By making information available to small businesses early, and making that information very clear, we have helped to ensure that not only do our SMEs comply with legal requirements, they can improve their business practices by accessing our business support.

The partnership includes the LLEP, East Midlands Chamber, Federation of Small Businesses, Economic Development, Food & Drink Forum, Leicestershire Fire & Rescue and Regulators from across the whole of Leicester and Leicestershire.

Kamal Dhutia, Director, BI (Europe) Limited, said:

“The BBfA project has been instrumental in demonstrating to businesses that regulators have a clear understanding of their activities, and have their best interests at heart. Everyone wants local businesses to succeed, and BBfA has provided a collaborative framework for success.”

The LLEP was a pilot area for the implementation of BBfA, and its success saw the project expanded to the rest of the country. LLEP Director Mandip Rai said:

“The Better Business for All project is an integral part of our business support infrastructure, and the partnership between national and local regulators has always promoted a culture of support, not enforcement. This is extremely important in helping small businesses getting the right advice and support at the right time.”

Leicester and Leicestershire’s food and drink manufacturing sector is one of eight key sectors identified by the LLEP. These will support delivery of the objectives outlined in our Strategic Econoimic Plan (SEP) and European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) strategy.

The Leicester Food Park that Mr Uppal will visit on Tuesday is home to several small businesses, all of which contribute to the sector. Food and drink manufacturing in Leicester and Leicestershire contributes £0.8 billion to the local economy’s gross value added (GVA). 12,500 people are employed in this sector, across 165 enterprises. Famous food products are produced in our region on a massive scale – Walkers PepsiCo produces 7 million bags of crisps per year, while the Long Clawson Dairy used 58 million litres of milk per year to make Stilton cheese. In all, 13.3% of all businesses in Melton Mowbray are in the food and drink sector – that’s ten times the national average!

Mr. Uppal has been appointed to the role of Small Business Commissioner by central government, and is tasked with supporting Britain’s small businesses to resolve payment disputes and tackle unfair practices by larger businesses.

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