Mid Derbyshire MP backs business debt advice service

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Mid Derbyshire’s MP has given her support to a charity offering free advice and guidance services to small businesses and the self-employed.

Pauline Latham MP met with representatives of Business Debtline in Parliament recently to hear about their work with business owners experiencing financial worries.

The service, which is run by the Money Advice Trust, can offer expert guidance for issues ranging from managing cashflow and budgeting, to handling business rates and utility bills.

Pauline said: “It’s vital that small business owners and self-employed people in Mid Derbyshire get the proper support they need to keep trading when times are tough.

“These enterprises make up a significant part of our local, and national, economy, so their success really is crucial.”

Business Debtline helps around 100 small businesses a year from Derbyshire, but says that many more are likely to be struggling without seeking the free advice that could help resolve their financial difficulty.

The parliamentary event was held in conjunction with Energy UK, an industry lobbying group representing the UK’s ‘big six’ energy providers: British Gas, EDF, npower, E.ON, Scottish Power and SEE.

Business Debtline has found that energy debts are among the most common concerns cited by small business owners when they seek help.

Any small business who is struggling to cope can seek free support and consultation via www.businessdebtline.org or by calling 0800 197 6026.

The Money Advice Trust have been bolstering their services to self-employed people in recent years, reflecting a shift in employment dynamics across the economy.

One of their latest reports estimates that there are now around 5 million workers in the UK categorised as self-employed—while small businesses employ roughly a third of the UK workforce.

Trust chief executive Joanna Elson said: “We believe the Government, creditors, regulators and support bodies could do more together to ensure the self-employed and small-business owners can access the support that can often make the difference between triumph and struggle.”