The Welsh leaders of five political parties will debate the economy in an event organised by the Federation of Small Businesses ahead of May’s Assembly elections.
Labour’s First Minister Carwyn Jones, Conservative leader in the Assembly Andrew RT Davies, Plaid Cymru’s leader Leanne Wood, Liberal Democrat leader in Wales Kirsty Williams and UKIP’s Welsh leader Nathan Gill will take part in the debate on March 30.
The FSB Leaders’ Debate will be held at the Catrin Finch Centre, Glyndwr University, Wrexham, (pictured above) between 5.30pm and 7pm.
A satellite screening of the debate will be held in Swansea at the School of Management, Bay Campus, Swansea University, at the same time.
The five will face questions on business and the economy. FSB members who would like to pose a question to the leaders can email firstname.lastname@example.org
The FSB has 10,000 members in Wales, a Welsh Policy Unit, two regional committees, and 12 branch committees throughout the country. It also has a Welsh Press and Parliamentary Office in Cardiff.
The economy is set to be a key issue in the Senedd election. In January, the Wales Voice of Small Business Index from the FSB showed that in the final quarter of 2015 confidence among FSB members fell three points to -1.3. It was the first time the index had pointed to a lack of confidence among small firms since the start of 2013.
FSB Wales Policy Unit Chairwoman Janet Jones said last month: “It is disappointing to see the index fall back into negative territory, but it does mirror some of the anecdotal evidence that we have heard from our members across Wales in recent months.
“We know that smaller businesses are absolutely key to the success of the Welsh economy, and indeed to the success of local economies in every part of Wales.
“With that in mind we need to do all we can to nurture and sustain our small firms and help them to achieve their potential.
“That is why in our business manifesto for the next Welsh Government we have proposed the creation of a Wales Small Business Administration, bringing SME finance, business support, procurement and SME research under a single umbrella body.
“We believe that such a body has an important role to play in boosting confidence and capability among the small business sector in Wales.”
Maria Williams is a journalist, copywriter, and professional blogger for small businesses. Visit her website www.wordsyoucanuse.co.uk.