Tomorrow we will all be voting in a General Election and some of us will be voting in local elections too.
This is a big day for democracy. We should all be out there choosing who makes decisions on our behalf.
I know that after this rather protracted campaign a lot of us have just switched off, there are only so many arguments and counter arguments you can absorb. Politicians start to look the same. There is a tendency in our household to turn the radio off when they speak
Having said all that there are many reasons why we really should listen and then vote according to our consciences and our convictions. Our country, our communities and our businesses are going to be affected by the people we choose; we owe it to ourselves to be part of that process.
The realisation that small business is a major part of the economy has finally dawned, politicians and policy makers in all parties now appear to understand that they need small business; they need it in their constituencies and on their High Streets. Small businesses employ millions of people, pay billions of pounds in taxes and supply our country's needs as well as bringing in money from exports. So what are they promising?
Labour speaks of locking in economic stability and is committed to reducing the number of inspectors and speeding up cheque clearance times. They now have a Small Business Forum made up of party members who run their own small businesses.
Conservatives are pledged to streamline the DTI, send officials on business secondments, impose regulatory budgets, introduce a deregulation bill and fight crime against businesses. Senior Conservatives have recently launched a ten point action plan to bolster business.
The Liberal Democrats promise to extend Small Business Rates Relief to include firms with a rateable value of up to £25,000, employ sunset clauses so ineffective and outdated legislation can be cut off and improve skills in schools. They would abolish the DTI.
It would seem that at least some of the lobbying that business organisations have been working on has been heard.
The main parties have certainly taken on board the heartfelt and anguished cries from business regarding red tape and regulation. The DTI, trying to represent and regulate both consumer and producer, was a strange concept when it was set up back in the 1970s and has seriously outlived its day, so any actions and improvements in that area will be welcomed by business.
Business rates are a nightmare to many small businesses and because they are collected by the local councils successive governments have managed to hide their involvement, it would be nice to have government ownership acknowledged and to have proper discussion on that issue.
Well, you pays your money and you takes your chance. You will be paying your money whoever gets elected so you really should go and take your pick.
* Diane Rayner is an independent adviser on small businesses in the West Midlands