Jessie Joe Jacobs set out her plans to encourage a new generation of entrepreneur and give small business a post-covid boost in a visit to a small soap business started during the covid crisis.
The Labour candidate in May’s Tees Valley mayoral election believes that supporting entrepreneurs will be key to growing the economy after covid.
While big headline-grabbing projects are welcome, thriving small firms are major employers, generate vast wealth and are key to a healthy local economy so must be backed to the hilt.
And she believes that a vibrant economy in the Tees Valley depends not just on traditional sectors but also the cutting edge digital technology, virtual reality, internet retail and creativr sectors.
“We need to support our innovators, creators, entrepreneurs and our risk takers,” she said on a visit to Tales of Toria. “We need to support them to turn potential, ideas and energy into the thriving businesses of the future.
“Local people need a helping hand to grow and create the jobs of the future. We have some amazing new start-ups in the Tees from gin companies to the bath-bombs and soap business like here at Tales or Toria. We must support these local people to turn their dreams into a reality.
“We have incredible people, communities that have each other’s back, a proud history of industry that has transformed the world and a creative brilliance that is known throughout the UK, from music to media, technology to art .
“We have so much potential and opportunity, but now it’s time to move boldly into the future, with the backing, vision and courage we need to get there.”
Jacobs has a series of concrete proposals to back business, entrepreneurs and local producers across the Tees region. These include:
Made in Tees Valley
Made in Tees Valley scheme to support local producers, farmers and small traders via:
• Made in Tees Valley brand marketing campaign to put our producers on the national map.
• Made in Tees Valley Food and Producers Festival.
• A £1m grant fund and access to support and loan finance for start up and scale up of these businesses.
• To develop an online market place as an alternative to Amazon and Etsy to match producers with consumers.
Get on Scheme
A flexible scheme offering finance, support and the skills development to empower people to start a business, learn a new trade or whatever they need to get on in business or the workplace. Ms Jacobs believes we must empower people to reach their full potential through education, finance, training and business start-up support.
Lobby for a £1bn investment fund to provide venture capital for new business start up. Ms Jacobs believes that entrepreneurs, as our risk takers and innovators, have lost everything in the Covid-19 crisis. She says we must give them and new entrepreneurs backing via a flexible business fund to be spent on starting new businesses.
Good Business Hub
Grow the Tees Valley’s social and community economy, empowering businesses, individuals and communities to turn entrepreneurial ideas into sustainable business plans that deliver social returns alongside economic. Backed up with £2m in grants and finance, the Hub will provide financial support and match funding for training and expert advice.
The Night Time Economy
Introduce a hospitality and night-time economy advisor to promote and champion the sector, have a voice at the table on the authority and manage sector-led funding aiming to help businesses be more effective and profitable.