SME and Business growth:
We in the North East are the region with the:
I) most tech start-ups outside London [over300]
II) the fastest rate of growth in private sector businesses over the last quarter,
III) and the highest rise in the value of exports, plus the only region with a positive balance of payments
Fuel Costs: throughout the parliament we have frozen fuel duty, and the oil price is coming down as well [Labour wanted to put the fuel duty up].
Child care costs: I am a big fan of the free childcare up to 15 hours paid for the by the government to parents of a 2 year old - this is really popular with parents I spoke to recently in Prudhoe, allowing them to go back to work.
Apprenticeships: doubled in the North East and 2 million nationwide since 2010
Small Business Saturday and the packed shops of Hexham last weekend have shown that our retail sector is thriving with new shops opening up in Hexham like Mr Wolf, the toyshop, and The Vintage Emporium in Hexham both packed on Saturday when I popped in.
Also there are businesses which are really using the internet cleverly like Dillies which has a high street presence and makes significant internet sales.