I was also thrilled to visit Mushtaq machines in Birmingham today. Mushtaq machines create bespoke machines for a range of food production machines. They have existed since 1989 and create machines which are sold world wide.
Mr Ahmed demonstrated a number of machines to us that he and his team have designed and created.
Like many other businesses, Mushtaqs faces its own set of problems. Although all these creations are original ideas to Mushtaqs, the patenting process is so long that it is prohibitive for buyers. Therefore, these designs get ripped off across the world.
It was heartening to hear that at trade shows outside of Britain, the UK name is still valued as a mark of quality and high standards and it is fantastic that buyers worldwide can see top class engineering from the heart of the West Midlands.
Once again, I was talking about business rates. We should be celebrating businesses and helping them expand when they are in demand, however, rates are so prohibitive that getting new premises can be incredible difficult.
Rates seem to be a topic of conversation everywhere I go, from the High Street to factories such as these. Mr Ahmed told me of friends who would like to go into business, but business rates are stopping them from being able to set up.
At a time when we should be encouraging growth of new businesses and further employment, it seems baffling that we aren't doing more as a country to encourage these new enterprises.
Great engineering talent is something to be championed. It was also great to meet their graduate engineer who is having an exciting career creating unique machines!
It was a pleasure to be invited to see such a unique business at work and I was pleased at the global impact that they are having.