Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, visited The Business & Technology Centre (btc) on Tuesday 20th August 2019 to find out more about the support offered by Wenta and Stevenage Borough Council and how small businesses in Stevenage have been feeling about the potential prospect of a 'no-deal Brexit'.
Jeremy arrived, greeted by Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council and Jill Borcherds, Parliamentary Candidate for Stevenage. He was introduced to the Wenta team including Wenta's Chair, Zoe Hancock and Wenta Board Member, Graham Lane.
Centre Manager at the btc, Jo Kiely, hosted a tour of the centre, a small business round table discussion and visits to our shared workspace, incubator facility and a variety of businesses including Lawrence Dean Recruitment and Visual Technologies.
Commenting on his visit, Jeremy Corbyn said:
“This business centre and start-up facility is very impressive, with a lot of very creative and innovative people doing a lot of good. In the very lengthy round-up we spoke quite a lot about the dangers of a no-deal Brexit, a lot about education and training and, interestingly, a long discussion about environmental sustainability”.
Hannah Rees from AIM Digital Marketing was one of the business owners that Jeremy spoke to. She said:
“I chose to set up my business here at the btc due to its great location, facilities and support from the Wenta team. Working within the btc’s start-up incubator, you get a real, supportive, business community feel. Since setting up in 2015, we’ve organically grown, creating sevennew jobs and, in the last year, winning five awards. However, we have felt the impact surrounding the Brexit confusion. Customers and potential contracts are holding onto their marketing budgets and not wishing to spend as there is too much uncertainty. We have customers from all industry sectors from logistics to retail and the general consensus is that most companies are holding back on their spend.”
“Jeremy understood these frustrations and questioned a number of us on how it would affect us financially. He took a keen interest and advised us of his campaign plans.”
Commenting on the potential impact of a ‘no-deal Brexit’, Director of Operations for Wenta, Brian Trainor, said:
“Uncertainty and nervousness tends to be the biggest challenge for small businesses at the moment however we’re confident in our resilience to support the small business communities come what may.”
The event attracted a wide array of media from ITV and BBC News to Sky and The Comet.
Head of Digital, Communications and Marketing, Jennifer Condon, said:
"It was an exciting day for all and a proud day for Wenta too. It was great to be able to facilitate this opportunity for the many small businesses we support in Stevenage to speak with Mr Corbyn."
If you would like more information on the business advice, support and workspace available at the btc, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org