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Business Secretary hails importance of King for British firms

The King’s “convening power” gives businesses in the UK an advantage, Grant Shapps has said.

Charles, along with his brother The Earl of Wessex, The Duke of Gloucester and The Duke of Kent, met small business owners at a Buckingham Palace reception on Wednesday evening.

Among the notable attendees were entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones, as well as the Business Secretary and other ministers, who hailed the reception’s “special” importance.

Royal reception for businesses
The King speaks to guests during a reception at Buckingham Palace (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Mr Shapps said: “When I started my company when I was 21, I had no assets to speak of, but there was something called the loan guarantee scheme.

“And that was the equivalent of what is now something like the recovery scheme, and that allowed me to get into business.

“The convening power of His Majesty doing something like this takes it to another level.

“That’s what’s so amazing – the King’s convening power gives British business that advantage.”

Mr Jones said: “I didn’t know actually what to expect, but upon arrival, to have the opportunity to have an audience in front of the King is something incredibly special.

“But also to see the queue outside of a few hundred people anxiously excited to come in and have the sense of being celebrated.

“That’s the point. It’s recognising and celebrating small business and right now, there’s nothing more important than that.”

The King also spoke to businesses and social programmes who have been supported by his charity The Prince’s Trust, which helps those from disadvantaged communities.

It has helped more than 90,000 young people through its Enterprise Programme since 1983.

Mahoua Koui, from Stoke – who created her sustainable streetwear fashion business with a grant aged 22 in November 2021, said: “The King was lovely, he came and spoke about my business.”