Support worker-owned businesses

Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy. The North East has 162,755 businesses, of which 162,540 are SMEs. That’s 99.87% of them. 95% of businesses employ fewer than 10 people, yet in total employ 487,000 jobs.

I will provide support for those wanting to set up on their own, and especially employee buy-outs and start-ups by innovative groups of workers. This can unleash a wealth of knowledge and skills working people have, providing a valuable addition to the well being of communities. Studies show that worker-owned businesses create more stable employment in better-paid jobs, and tend to be more productive than businesses with conventional ownership structures. Worker-owned businesses, or co-operatives, can also fill in the gaps in the local economy, and are more resilient in times of economic downturn. We’ll work with existing organisations like Co-ops UK, The Chamber of Commerce and others, to provide training, mentoring and legal advice.

I’ll directly support businesses by taking part in export events and trade missions, and supporting our region’s business people – it’s the personal testimony that will get us work abroad. I’ll support local firms who need to navigate the legalities of exporting, so businesses large and small can seize global opportunities. My personal commitment as the Mayor to driving up our exports will help us all.

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If you would prefer to print the manifesto, you can download a PDF version here.

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