130722_Hopscotch_bizAcross Elmbridge, we have a range of innovative local businesses – from high street retailers to high-tech start ups. I spend a lot of time listening to them about the challenges they face, and what government can do to support them. I am also in regular dialogue with our local business groups – including Molesey Business Association, Esher Business Guild, Walton-on-Thames Trading Alliance and Cobham Chamber of Commerce.

I have campaigned successfully for lower business taxes to promote growth, create jobs and deliver more tax revenue for our precious public services. I have made the case for lower payroll taxes to encourage employers both to hire more people and pay higher wages. For the high street, I have liaised with Surrey County Council to promote parking regimes that increase footfall into our local shops, and I pressed for an overhaul of business rates. I have consistently made the case for less business red-tape, which adds unnecessary costs and stifles business expansion.

These issues are vital for local business growth, but they are also key to making sure Britain as a nation is fit to thrive in the twenty-first century, given rising economic competition from the Far East to Latin America. Since 2010, Conservatives in government have delivered record-breaking jobs growth – which demonstrates both the economic and social importance of promoting the right climate for business.