FSB National Conference & Small Business Expo 2014
Conference 2014 was a very special event for the FSB. We celebrated our 40th anniversary at Manchester Central with a packed business program, seminars throughout both days, social events on Friday and Saturday evening and keynote speakers.
National Chairman Address
Conference opened with a celebrating the first 40 years of the FSB, followed by FSB National Chairman, John Allan, delivering his opening address. The National Chairman gave a stirring opening address to the conference by saying "we are united and professional - and together we are at our strongest." Mr Allan spoke with pride about his first 12 months as chairman and reminded members of the great strides that have been made in making sure the voice of small businesses is heard and listened to by the powers-that-be at every level.
FSB launches NextGen
The FSB National Chairman John Allan took to the stage with four young entrepreneurs to formally launch FSB Next Generation. Mr Allan introduced four FSB members who were heavily involved with Next Gen, Kate Hayes, Alyssa Smith, Ben Towers and Anisha Hanrod and highlighted their outstanding achievements in business. John Allan asserted, "Next Generation is mission critical for the future of the FSB." Kate gave a call to action to FSB members to support young business owners through the Next Generation programme, by sharing their experiences of running a business with young people and providing valuable input into the development of the Next Generation programme. Kate said, "We really need the help of FSB members. Remember, you all started out as self-employed people and we would really love your input."
Question Time Debate
Naga Munchety welcomed the panel to the stage. The prestigious participants were led by Mike Cherry, the FSB's National Policy Chairman. Mike was joined by Simon Danczuk MP, Councillor Sue Derbyshire, the leader of Stockport Council and John Ashcroft, Chief Executive of Pro-Manchester and the Chief Economist for the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Issues raised during question time included encouraging small businesses to work with schools on career guidance, whether the panel believed that a free period of parking on double yellow or single yellow lines should be introduced, further pension reform bills , the panel’s view on Local Enterprise Partnerships and how far and by what means should small businesses try to influence the matter, a more friendly procurement processes, and late payment. Mike Cherry welcomed the announcement by Ofgem of an investigation into the energy industry, and there was also discussion about the costs of auto enrolment versus the costs of recruiting.