Home Business Surrey business woman is part of the new small business council

Surrey business woman is part of the new small business council

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Surrey businesswoman Julianna Ponan MBE has been named as one of the members of the new government-led Small Business Council.

Ahead of their first meeting this morning, Julianne will join other invited small business voices from across the UK.

She said: “I’m very humbled to be invited to be part of this initiative and I hope to be able to make clear the needs of small businesses at the highest level, reminding decision-makers how vital we are to the UK economy.”

The Small Business Council is aimed at listening to the voice of the SME sector. At today’s meeting, they will be looking at finance and removing barriers to growth. The council brings together firms from a wide range of sectors including food and drink, manufacturing and beauty.

Chaired by Small Business Minister, Kevin Hollinrake, the Council will work alongside the PM’s Business Council to tackle key issues facing small firms who will be given new levels of access direct to government.

Almost every business in the country is a small business (99.9 per cent) that in turn supports 27 million jobs across the UK, accounting for £4.5 trillion of annual turnover. Almost every billion-pound company, tech giant or multinational corporation started off as a small business, which is why this Council has been formed, to help support and nurture the next generation of small firms to thrive and grow.

The Council also includes small business organisations such as Small Business Britain, the Federation of Small Businesses and Family Business UK.

These include Northern Ireland-based furniture manufacturer Environmental Street Furniture who export to 27 countries globally; Midlands-based diamond drill specialists, D-Drill who have been crucial to major projects on the London Tideway and the Silverstone F1 circuit; and London-based superfood manufacturer Creative Nature which found a gap in the market for allergen products and are now stocked by supermarket giants across the UK.

Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said:

“Small firms are at the heart of our communities and the engine of our economy – which is why the work of this council is so important. My own experience of working in a small business has given me crucial insights into the problems that SMEs face on a daily basis, from barriers to growth or access to finance.

“We’re giving small firms a big voice, so they can directly air their concerns to the government without delay – only when we work together can we tackle some of the burning issues SMEs are facing – only then can we help boost jobs and grow the economy.”

FSB Policy Chair Tina McKenzie said:

“This new council is important because it will bring what’s happening at the front line of British business, from our 5.5 million small business owners, right into the heart of Government.

“Alongside No.10’s existing corporate Business Council, the new body will shine a light on the unique challenges small firms face in areas such as finance, regulation and skills. FSB is pleased to join it, and we hope to focus on how to reignite economic growth across our community.”

In recent weeks, the Government has made a series of announcements to support small business owners. The Lilac Review was jointly unveiled with Small Business Britain – as a major new independent review determined to tackle and overcome the inequality faced by disabled business owners.

And the Help to Grow campaign website has been relaunched and refreshed, as a one-stop shop for SMEs to find the information they need to grow and scale up. This includes helping small firms to clearly identify what funding they can access, helpful webinars as well as the basics of how to set up a business for the first time.

SME Council Members:


  • Michelle Ovens CBE  Founder/CEO – Small Business Britain
  • Neil Davy CEO – Family Business UK
  • Tina McKenzie Policy Chair – Federation of Small Businesses
  • Emma Heal MD – Lucky Saint
  • Thomas Robson Kanu Founder – Turmeric Co
  • Julianne Ponan MBE CEO – Creative Nature Superfoods
  • Peter Davies MD – James Lister and Sons
  • Gary Parlett Co-founder – Answer Digital
  • Tania Boler Founder – Elvie
  • Richard Marshall Founder – Pall Mall Barbers
  • Elizabeth Vega CEO – Informed Solutions
  • Tessa Clarke Co-founder – Olio
  • Jordan Schwarzenberger Co-founder – Arcade Media
  • Julie White MD- D-Drill
  • Mike Bristow CEO – Crowd Property Ltd
  • Debbie Williams Co-founder – John Williams Heating Servies Ltd
  • Roni Savage MD – Jomas Associates
  • Andrew Bissell CEO – Sunamp
  • Alan Lowry CEO – Environmental Street Furniture


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