BMF boss reminds the PM that small businesses are the key to economic recovery

David Cameron has made a cautious but welcome pledge of support for the UK marine industry, saying the government was willing to “get behind and help” successful small businesses.

Speaking at a conference organised by business lobbyists CBI, the Prime Minister said, “It’s the small and fast-growth companies that will provide the jobs but not necessarily in the most predictable sectors.

“Politicians can get terribly seduced by the idea that there are just a few sectors you get behind and that constitutes an industrial policy. I don’t think that’s enough.

“Alongside that we need a more general approach of saying it’s small, innovative, high-growth companies in different sectors that we need to get behind and help.”

Howard Pridding, the Executive Director of the British Marine Federation (BMF) said that he wanted to impress upon the Prime Minster that the marine industry could provide a positive contribution to the economy in these tough times.

“I highlighted to the Prime Minister that the boatbuilding industry was a manufacturing success story where some of our leading boat builders export 90% of what they produce,” said Pridding.

The latest survey of BMF members shows that the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry is continuing to recover from the recession.

Nearly half of all respondents (46%) reported a higher turnover between November 2009 and May 2010 compared to the same period a year ago.

However, one of the main problems still facing businesses is the continuing lack of credit, something which the Prime minister said was an economic priority who promised to “get banks lending again”.