The heads of thousands of businesses, who collectively employ nearly 100,000 people, have signed a letter in support of the Conservatives.
The letter, published by the Daily Telegraph and organised by the Tories’ small business ambassador Karren Brady, warns that putting Ed Miliband and the Labour party into office on 7 May would be “far too risky” for Britain’s economy.
The document, which is signed by bosses from around 5,000 companies, follows a similar letter from more than 100 leading business executives.
In response to that, Labour sought to portray the Tories as a party that has the interests of major corporations at heart. But the Conservatives will produce Monday’s letter as evidence that they are, in fact, the party of small and medium sized firms.
The letter read: “We run small businesses right across the country. We work hard, make sacrifices and invest our own money to help our businesses grow and succeed.
“It was tough during the recession, but we kept going. This Conservative-led government has been genuinely committed to making sure Britain is open for business.
“They’ve managed to get the economy moving again by tackling the deficit, helping to keep interest rates low and inflation down.
“We’ve been helped by their steps to lower taxes, reduce red tape, simplify employment law and get the banks lending.
“We would like to see David Cameron and George Osborne given the chance to finish what they have started.
“A change now would be far too risky and would undo all the good work of the last five years.”
It emerged earlier this month that Brady, who is a Tory peer, was trying to convince small businesses to sign the letter in a posting on the party’s website.
The appeal appeared on a members’ section of the site under the headline “Please sign our business letter”.
One of the signatories was Glenn Cooper, the managing director of a firm based in north west England that makes bollards.
“To keep our exports rising, we need people in government who understand and appreciate enterprise, and who will back exporters whether they are looking to sell abroad for the first time or are closing their hundredth deal,” he told the Telegraph.
“Right now, as far as I have seen, there’s only one party which fits that description – the Conservatives.”
Brady’s drive came after claims the Tories were resorting to desperate measures when aides working for the health secretary asked doctors to sign a letter saying that the NHS should not be used for a political football.
They did so after more than 140 top doctors wrote a letter to the Guardian accusing the coalition government of weakening the nation’s health service with cuts to funding.
This article was written by Kevin Rawlinson, for theguardian.com on Monday 27th April 2015 00.45 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010