LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May will tell small business owners on Thursday that she wants to help them take advantage of the opportunities provided by Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
The June 23 Brexit vote has raised serious questions about the future of the world's fifth largest economy, with some surveys indicating a recession, a hit to consumer confidence and a possible fall in investment.
May is pitching a plan to reunite the country and strengthen her grip on power by raising the prospects of those who she casts as "hard-working people" together with an industrial policy that she hopes will help the economy.
The new prime minister will meet representatives from Britain's 5.4 million small and medium sized businesses at Downing Street on Thursday, her office said.
"From dynamic start-ups to established family firms, our small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of our country," May said in remarks released by her office ahead of the meeting.
"I want to build an economy that works for all, and that means working with, and listening to, smaller firms," May said.
"I also want those firms, across all the sectors of our economy, to be able to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Brexit, such as exporting to new destinations."
May has said the Brexit vote indicates a deep desire among voters for change to the way the economy is run.
She has promised to foster what she says is a fairer economy and to overhaul corporate governance, crack down on tax evasion and avoidance, boost productivity and give the UK government a way to block foreign takeovers.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)