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The FSB's Big Voice research community 


We have recently launched a new Big Voice research community where FSB members can take part in regular surveys, and research discussions and see how their voice is having an impact. 

We use the information members provide to create change for businesses by sharing the results with the highest levels of Government, helping them to understand how small businesses operate. 


Have your voice heard, join Big Voice


We work with Verve to manage our community and undertake this research. 


As part of the panel, members can be part of the quarterly Small Business Index, which tracks business confidence over time. We work in partnership with the Centre for Economic and Business Research to create the Index and to show us the impact small businesses are having on the economy.


Here is some of the recent research from 2014:

ReservistsSupplier payments survey

We asked 2500 FSB members their experiences of supply chain bullying. Read the research.
 

 
ReservistsEmployment Allowance
We asked FSB members how they spent the Employment Allowance which enables small businesses to claim up to £2,000 back from their National Insurance contributions. FSB members spent the allowance to increase staff wages, hire new employees and invest in training. Read the research.
 
 

ReservistsHome working

The changing nature of business and technology is allowing more and more entrepreneurs to set up and run a business from home. One in five (18%) FSB members say tenancy clauses are a barrier to running a business from home, with nearly a third (29%) saying inadequate broadband provision is a barrier to running their business from home. Read the comment and research.

 

Export
FSB discovers an opportunity for growth, as small businesses struggle to access support to export
New research shows more than three quarters of UK small businesses (78%) struggle to access support for exporting from the Government. Read the press release and research

 

 
 
Flood
Four in five small businesses want to see published tariffs
A new survey of FSB members finds that two thirds of members think switching energy supplier is difficult and four in five would like to see energy companies introduce published prices. Read the press release and research.
 
 
RegulationNearly one in five small firms affected by fake references

The FSB and BBC1's Fake Britain cooperated on a survey of 1,800 small firms, which found nearly one in five (17%) had discovered candidates with fraudulent references. Read the press release and research.

 
 
 
FloodFloods cost small businesses £831 million
As businesses continue to recover from the recent floods, new data released by the Federation of Small Businesses reveals small firms in affected areas lost more than three quarters of a billion pounds. Read the press release and research.
 
 
InfrastructureLondon Underground strikes cost London businesses £600 million
A new FSB snap poll shows the London Underground strikes in early February cost small businesses in London £600 million. Read the press release and view the research.
 
 
 
Research in 2013 showed:
 
RTIRTI extension welcomed by small firms
HMRC has announced a package of help for small firms to get to grips with reporting payroll in real time, meaning existing employers with less than nine members of staff who need more time to adapt will be able to report PAYE information on or before the last payday in the tax month until April 2016. Read the comment and view the research

OnlineSmall firms must exploit broadband opportunities
FSB research shows that while 90 per cent of small firms use the internet for their business, fewer than 30 per cent use it to trade online. In a world where increasingly customers turn to the internet to research as well as to buy goods and services, small firms must be online to compete and achieve their growth potential. Read the press release

RegulationData protection proposals could cost small businesses thousands

One in five small firms find data protection to be a burdensome regulation to comply with, and new proposals from the European Parliament for firms which hold data of more than 5,000 customers to employ a Data Protection Officer could make this more burdensome. Read the press release and the survey results



Banking

Banks need to do more to win small business confidence

Small businesses do not feel their bank cares about them or their business despite rating the products on offer highly and small firms do not consider switching banks. Read the press release and the full survey results



FinanceSmall firms spend half a billion on tax admin per year

 

The UK's small business owners are losing around 12 days a year keeping on top of their tax administration costing them half a billion pounds per year. Read the press release and view the full results

 



Employment

FSB says small firms are increasing wages for staff

The latest employment research on how small firms are creating jobs and paying wages has revealed that businesses are paying employees more and they want to create more jobs. Read the press release on increases to wages and read the full research



education

GCSE reform must equip young people with skills for the workplace

Around five in 10 members  believe young people lack a good attitude to work as well as other skills such as problem solving. The FSB has said that refom of the GCSE system must give young people access to these skills to make them ready for the workplace. Read the press release, and the report and look at the full results.

 

EnergyEnergy rollover contracts

The big six energy companies have said they will cease the practice of automatic rollover energy contracts following an FSB campaign. FSB research suggests one in four small firms had been rolled over without their knowledge and an overwhelming 78 per cent of respondents said they would support the abolition of rollovers. Read the comment and the results.

 

procurementProcurement and local government

 

A new report on how local government buy goods and services from small businesses shows that, small firms spend 58 per cent more of the money spent with them by local authorities compared to large businesses in the same area, as they re-invest 63p in each £1 compared to only 40p in each £1 by a larger firms. Read the press release, look at the infographic and view the results.

 

 

 

Business ratesBusiness rates

The business rates system needs a radical overhaul as almost one in 10 respondents say they are paying more in rates than rent. Read the press release and the results.

 



Export'Enabling small businesses in the drive for more UK exports'

A new report - Enabling small businesses in the drive for more UK exports shows that six per cent of FSB members that don't currently export say they would like to in the future. If they did it would add around £800 million annually to the economy. Read the press release, the results and look at the infographic.

 

 


crime'Cyber security and fraud: the impact on small businesses'

A new report by the FSB 'Cyber security and fraud: the impact on small businesses' has found that 41 per cent of members have been a victim of cyber crime with the average cost at just under £4,000 per business. As a result, the FSB has developed 10 top tips for businesses to protect themselves. Read the press release, the infographic and the full results.  

 

technologyThe digital imperative, small businesses, technology

The FSB and Intellect have produced a joint report which outlines the benefits to small firms from investing in technology. The report surveyed 2,200 people and found that on average small firms have spent around £3,500 on technology in the last 12 months, proving that investment doesn't have to break the bank to see rewards. Read the press release, the report and the infographic.

 

weatherImpact of the weather

More than half of UK small firms have been impacted financially by the recent prolonged cold weather costing them £174 million. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says that on average each business lost £1,580 according to the findings of a new survey. Read the press release and the results.

 


ReservistsReservists

One in three small firms said they are struggling to hire reservists and  86 per cent of FSB members said that any Government support to businesses employing reservists should focus on the specific needs of small and micro firms, rather than big business. Read the press release and view the results