Genesis Initiative Meeting 19th October 2022

Once again, we were pleased that the Silver Marketing Association and our Members were represented by Steve Huxham at the latest round of Parliamentary meetings run by the Genesis Initiative at the House of Commons on Wednesday 19th October 2022. Of course, the harsh reality is that due to the recent turmoil within Government itself, it is very difficult to go into any depth on topics of our Members’ interest within Westminster at present: the “noise” of the Conservative leadership discontent and the (then) Prime Minister’s position tends to drown out other issues, however important they are. Nevertheless, it remains vital that the Silver Marketing Association is seen to be there making a positive contribution, whatever the distractions.

Thankfully, our host on this occasion, Craig Williams, Conservative MP for Montgomeryshire, was refreshingly frank and open about these distractions, which he accepted were of great concern to all businesses trying to make headway against a hardening economic outlook. Hopefully we will all see much more of the same candour and a “return to normal business” across Government now that another change has been made!

We were able to make two important points during the opening event and then the Senate Meeting that followed. The first was of more general, rather than SMA specific, interest, and was to note that the harm of all sorts done by lack of effective regulation of social media platforms, must stop. As they are clearly unable or unwilling to moderate their own content, and similarly, regulate themselves, the point was made that following the basis that businesses that trade in a jurisdiction must be prepared to be regulated there, surely a measure to enforce formal Regulation would enjoy broad cross Party support?

The second issue, more closely related to the specific interests of SMA Members, followed a discussion on the maze of the myriad Government schemes for funding for business Training and Development projects – one attendee observed that it was now a “mere” 1,000 types of support schemes, down from 3,000 at one point. We responded to the discussion by reminding the other Trade Association delegates that the harsh reality is that whatever Government and PM we end up with for the next few years, everyone is going to be asked to do “more with less” as Government spending cuts inevitably bite. However, this also presents a campaigning opportunity for the Genesis Initiative , and in turn its constituent Trade Associations, such as the Silver Marketing Association, which should not be missed. Whether it is 1,000 schemes, or pruned to 500 all with less money, they still remain elusive, hard to navigate, and arguably neither represent peak efficiency nor value for money in their current incarnations.

We argued that ethical and responsible Trade Associations are already in place and well managed to ensure that those (inevitably) reduced funds go where they are most needed, and that it makes perfect sense on many levels that the TAs should receive those budgets directly and distribute them onwards as required and in a responsible and closely monitored way. We trust that our SMA Members might see the simplified access to those funds as a useful Benefit in all senses of that word when it comes to their Membership. We concluded by hoping that the Board of Genesis would find merit in taking up this proposal to see what can be made of it

In the meanwhile, Genesis have kindly circulated a list of links to some of the Business Support schemes that are currently available, and these have been added to our Genesis Initiative webpage.

Back to Genesis Initiative page