Prior to becoming North Swindon’s MP, I ran my own small business right here in our town. My office was in Stratton and I employed fellow local residents. I started with a phone line and a Yellow Pages but bit by bit, customer by customer, I built it up.

This is why I was particularly proud to be appointed as a Small Business Ambassador for the Conservative Party by the Prime Minister. Led by businesswoman Karren Brady, the ambassadors will cover the entire country. I will cover the west region, which includes Swindon, and my role is to talk to local businesses about the policies that help them grow and the measures that don’t. This information I will then feed back to Government so that we can continue to help small businesses emerge, flourish and employ.

There is a concerning trend that sees people take “business”, in particular “big business” as being a bad thing.

This is compounded by populist “business bashing” policies in a quest to catch headlines. At best it is misguided, at worst, it is grossly irresponsible.

Businesses, be it the one man band about to take on the first member of staff or a big multinational that employs thousands of people in the UK, generate wealth, generate jobs and generate opportunities. Big businesses were once small businesses. Marks and Spencer started life as a small market stall in Leeds, Tesco started off on a market in Hackney and even big banks like Natwest started as a small family run bank in Nottingham. Business is a good thing and something we should celebrate and encourage, not demonise.

We have been ruthlessly targeting help to businesses, be it through establishing a competitive corporation tax rate to attract big employers, clamping down on tax evasion or exempting small and start up businesses from business rates. Why, because they generate wealth, jobs and opportunities and it is the only path back to sustainable long term growth.

It is working. In North Swindon, unemployment has fallen by 148 in the past month alone. That is more than four residents a day back into work, and a reduction in the numbers unemployed of more than 10 per cent . Nationally, employment is up by more than a million in the last three years, unemployment is down, our growth forecast has been revised up and those subjected to a life on benefits, without any hope of opportunity, is falling.

Government can’t generate wealth, it can’t even create jobs in a significant and sustainable way. Businesses can and Britain’s businesses are.

I remember, there was nothing more exciting, nor more terrifying, than employing my first member of staff. I am proud to be helping more businesses take this plunge and go further, flourishing, employing and driving growth.