The Conservative Chancellor Sajid Javid, the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey made fresh pledges to small firms at a recent hustings event hosted by the Federation of Small Businesses in Westminster.

During the discussion, Mr Javid committed to creating a positive tax environment for small businesses.

He pledged to extend the business rates Retail Discount and committed to making the appointment of a properly empowered Small Business Commissioner a top priority for a Conservative government. Elsewhere, he promised that a new UK Shared Prosperity Fund would at least match the value of current EU funding streams.

Mr McDonnell promised to match the Conservatives’ commitment to “enhance” the discount on national insurance bills that small firms can access through the Employment Allowance.

The party had pledged to support small businesses struggling with rising wages but had not, to date, revealed what form this support would take. He also described the UK’s late payment culture as “brutal” and “appalling”, and committed to ending the late payment crisis through following Australia’s binding arbitration model.

Mr Davey stated that the government has been singling out the self-employed. Reflecting on his own experience of self-employment, he said that Government policies are causing “unintended consequences” and are reflective of “sloppy thinking”. He also argued that the Conservatives’ proposed ‘tax lock’ would incentivise an underfunded HMRC to take a more aggressive approach to small businesses in order to recover sums due.

We welcome the fact that, across the political spectrum, there are plenty of statements being made about the need to do more to support small businesses.

What’s critical now is that every one of the UK’s 5.8 million small businesses is heard at this election.

They must make the effort to do so at the ballot boxes on December 12.