Mel's background is in entrepreneurship - he started his own business from scratch and grew it for 20 years both in the UK and abroad before being elected to Parliament in 2010.
He has provided help or support to hundreds of local businesses as an MP and as a treasury minister he was instrumental in reducing business rates for the majority of small high street traders by a third.
In 2015 Mel received an award from the British Beer & Pub Association, Campaign for Real Ale and the Society of Independent Brewers in 2015 for his contribution to scrapping the beer duty escalator - a major coup for the pub industry. He has partnered with Google to bring free digital skills training to Central Devon, has been a major supporter of local post offices and has worked with Connecting Devon and Somerset and other organisations to improve rural broadband coverage in Central Devon to help rural businesses.
One of Mel's longest running campaigns is for a regular passenger rail service between Okehampton and Exeter via Crediton which would provide a massive boost for businesses in both towns.
As Chair of the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee Mel has played a key role in scrutinising the Government’s support measures for businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. The committee was successful in pressing for greater support for the self-employed and for workers on maternity or paternity pay that returned to work after cut-off dates for support schemes.