A rallying cry for Britain from Sage’s Stephen Kelly

Carpe Diem.png

Carpe Diem

The impact of Thursday’s vote moved on swiftly from shock and surprise to confusion this weekend, as it became clear that there are no certainties about what happens next.  But whilst the politicians obsess over inter-party vendettas and leadership contests, an amazing opportunity is emerging. That opportunity is for commerce and enterprise to once again step up and provide stability amidst the tumult; progress amidst the panic- Carpe Diem!

Let me explain.

What the country really needs now is leadership, optimism and confidence.

Not inter-party vendettas and a failure to act. For Britain’s sake, we must stop ‘talking Britain down’.  We all know the risk of doom-mongering about the economy is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I love ideas like Rohan Silva’s – calling for The Government to issue a Statement of Intent ‘Power-ahead Budget’ that asserts that Britain is bold, and dares to dream with a reducing corporation tax to 10%, slashing the archaic Business Rates. Progressive ideas that free entrepreneurs to soar. Business all over the world would sit up and invest in Britain.

And personally, I would have loved to see a Government (for National Unity) bring together talents from all parties  – from Sadiq Khan, Chuka Umuna, Gisela Stuart and Andrea Leadsom to respond to the decision of the people and carefully but boldly navigate the way forward. After all, I served the country as the COO of the Coalition Government and saw how effectively politicians of different colours could work brilliantly together when they were united in the public interest.

Sadly, this hasn’t happened. So, who will lead us?

Well the truth is, whilst we wait for the answer to emerge, pondering the implications at the Sunday lunch table, the reality is the nation’s army of small businesses have been soldiering on.  No matter what happens in politics today, next week, or next month, virtually all our great British businesses will continue to operate without missing a heartbeat.  They will still be feeding their families and friends tonight.  They will still show up to deliver their craft with pride. They will continue to make and keep promises to customers and coworkers far into the future.

Whilst big businesses talk about shifting operations, and the media speculates about the FTSE 100 companies, my barber in Richmond, and your baker in Shropshire carry on, driving growth and creating jobs & prosperity for UK.  Let’s remember that going back as far as the silk traders, commerce has always triumphed so it is our responsibility to promote ‘business as usual’.

As soon as we heard the result, we wanted to offer some practical advice. But we are at the beginning of a complex journey, with uncertainties, so we want to make a bolder promise to you as a Nation of Entrepreneurs.  Our commitment to Small & Medium Business owners is that we will use our voice and influence to ensure that you don’t get locked out of the journey.  We’ll ask you what your concerns are every month –and we’ll share those views with the powers that be. We know that the issues you face today – about red tape, bureaucracy and super fast broadband – are the same as the ones you faced last week, and will face next week. So we’ll stay on those and look at what they mean in a post-June 23 world.  We’ll try to bring together policy makers and business to get real answers and reduce uncertainty. And we’ll always try to fight your corner as the story evolves.

For now, thank you for all you do to keep the economy strong resilient.

Wherever the naysayers see doom, Entrepreneurs see opportunity. Britain is a dynamic, open and trading Nation of Entrepreneurs. Whatever our emotions with Thursday’s referendum, let’s seize this moment for building Britain’s vibrant and successful economy to create further jobs and prosperity for all?

The new rules and systems will get figured out, but the pulse of business is carrying on, so let’s keep rolling. Business Builders, Build On.  Carpe Diem.

Stephen Kelly is CEO of the Sage Group PLC – this article is reproduced from this linked in post.


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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