Chancellor Sunak visits Ipswich Microshops

Sunak cookie

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is given a cookie during his visit by Ben Stamp during his visit to the Ipswich Microshops - watched by Tom Hunt and Economic Secretary to the Treasury Helen Whatley. - Credit: Tom Hunt

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt took Chancellor Rishi Sunak to the Microshops centre in Carr Street to see how the new retail market is attracting people to the town centre.

They met the owners of some of the businesses that had opened in the centre since it had started last year.

Mr Sunak said: “Tom has been working incredibly hard to make sure local business owners are supported and have an environment to thrive in – like improving high-streets and campaigning for the Town Deal funding which has been granted to Ipswich.

“With initiatives like the Microshops, local entrepreneurs have the opportunity to set up a small business and see where it can go. The business owners I met today had huge commitment and big ambitions for their shops - and the Micro-Shops gives helps them take the first step.”

Mr Hunt said he wanted the Chancellor to see a great example of what Ipswich locals are capable of when given the tools and opportunity to embrace entrepreneurial spirit.

He said: "That’s exactly what we see at the Micro-Shops. We talked about how to replicate these opportunities for independent shop-owners and those taking first steps to set up a business.

"There are some fabulous success stories coming out of the Micro-Shops. There’s a lot of potential and a lot of passion here."

Ben Stamp, Cookie Barista at the Micro-Shops was delighted to meet the Chancellor.

He said: "It was amazing to have Rishi Sunak visit today and to have the chance to talk to him regarding my start-up business Cookie Barista.

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"We spoke about my ambition to open multiple sites and he directed me to the "Help to Grow" government campaign and how this might be suitable for me."

However the visit did not impress Ipswich council's Labour leader David Ellesmere. He said: "As it becomes harder and harder for Ipswich households to cope with the ever increasing cost of living, it's incredibly disappointing to see that Rishi Sunak made a brief visit to our town today, but had nothing to offer local residents who are struggling to make ends meet.

"Throughout this crisis, Boris Johnson's government has shown time and time again that they are out of touch with ordinary people. That's why voters in Ipswich overwhelmingly supported Labour at last week's elections, choosing a council which is on their side."