Small Business

Labour Small Business Forum

I am the founder of the Labour Small Business Forum which is a network of Labour members and supporters who work for themselves or in a small business. At conference in 2012 and 2013 I organised and chaired fringe meetings on small business.
2013 Brighton with Toby Perkins and Chairman from the Fed of Small Business

2012 Manchester with Toby Perkins

My background 

Philip before speaking at the Labour conference

Philip Ross was one of the founding members of the Professional Contractors Group and played a leading role in the fight against IR35. He was elected as their first external affairs director. He left the Group to stand for Parliament later returning in an executive capacity running their external affairs function. He led the PCG’s successful campaign against Fast Track Visas.
After leaving the PCG he went to run the Parliamentary office of Tony McWalter MP. He decided to return to IT contracting only to discover that he had forgotten much of his technical knowledge. In the meantime he took a part job on the tills at  John Lewis. He made it back into IT as a permanent employee in Dunstable and then returned to work in London in 2006.

Author of : Freedom to Freelance 

This is the story of the birth of Britain’s first on-line trade association, how it was formed from nothing and within a year had over 14,000 members and had turned from a pressure group into a fully functioning trade association that was able to lever the power and the pocket of their members to battle the Inland Revenue over IR35 and then the Home Office over the issue of Work Permits.

Initially formed as a single-issue campaign group, it would win over the House of Lords who controversially  reject the proposals, it would organise the first ever 'flash mob' to lobby Parliament and then be the first to present an e-petition,  the group would pressure the BBC’s flagship political programme Newsnight into transmitting an apology on air for getting its facts wrong and would take the Government all the way to the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

This was an on-line revolution that threw up some great figures who fought on behalf of contractors.
At the start the Professional Contractors Group was effectively a revolutionary organisation, no group had ever been founded on line like it had nor had any group used on-line forums quite so well. They say that revolutions like Saturn consume their own children, this proved true in both France and Russian. For the PCG it would prove true also as ultimately the revolutionaries would make way for more establishment figures. Bizarrely they would be accused of having fought too hard against the tax.

This is the story of the founding of the PCG and its early fight against IR35.

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