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03 June 2016

Weekly Brief 22 – Friday 3 June 2016

Are you registered to vote in the EU Referendum?
Are you registered to vote in the EU Referendum? If you’re already on the electoral register, you don’t need to register again. If you are not, you must register by 7 June to vote on 23 June and get your voice heard. For more information or to register now, visit the gov.uk website.

#FSBEUref podcast for Northern Ireland now available

Our next #FSBEURef podcast is now available. The questions in this podcast come from members in Northern Ireland. The podcast was moderated by Louise Stewart, FSB spokesperson and the panellists included Conor Patterson, Board Member, Northern Ireland Stronger in Europe and Jeffrey Peel, Chairman, Northern Ireland Business for Britain. More information on the full schedule of podcasts can be found here: #FSBEURef podcast series

Small firms turn down tourism bed tax
FSB Scotland urged the Scottish Government and local councils to rule out proposals for a ‘tourism bed tax’ this week, as new research revealed four in five businesses are against the plan. The visitor levy has been suggested by several Scottish politicians to relieve pressure on stretched council finances. It would see tourists taxed on their accommodation during their stay. The FSB poll found the mood among firms operating in Scotland’s £9.7 billion tourism industry is ever stronger, with 88 percent of tourism businesses rejecting the proposals. This gained coverage in The Times , The Scotsman and Glasgow Evening Times.

New fiver soon to be in circulation
The Bank of England has released updated training material, including a smartphone app, to help businesses prepare for the new polymer £5 note. The thin, plastic note, featuring Winston Churchill, is 15% smaller, safer and more durable. If your business handles cash, it’s important that you and those working in your business understand how to recognise and authenticate the notes when they come into circulation on September 13th.

Small Business Saturday #smallbiz100
Applications are now open for this year’s #smallbiz100. It’s a great opportunity to highlight your business in the lead up to Small Business Saturday on December 3rd 2016. Last year, a quarter of #smallbiz100 were FSB members, gaining exposure on social media and in local press. Apply before June 30th for the chance to be on this year’s list.

What does the global trade agenda mean for small firms?
FSB will be holding its headline day long event ‘From Northern Powerhouse to Global Markets – Small Firms and the Global Trade Agenda’, as part of the International Festival for Business 2016 on June 20th in Liverpool. It will be hosted by BBC North West’s Arif Ansari, with a Senior Government Minister heading an impressive cast list of international speakers. For more information, or to register for this event, please visit our website.

Would you take on a craft apprentice?
If you are a traditional skills-based company, the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust is seeking your thoughts on apprentices. Please give your views here. QEST’s main aim is to help craft businesses grow commercially and ethically in order to sustain the traditions and skills that have been invested in and safeguarded for generations. QEST wants to ensure the longevity of traditional skills key to our British heritage. QEST believes investing in apprenticeships could be crucial to achieving this goal.

Have your say on buying goods and services
You can now have your say in our latest survey about small businesses as consumers. If you’re a member, sign up to the Big Voice community for free and share your experience of buying goods and services to help us get a better understanding of contract or cost issues that you may have encountered.

Have you been a victim of cyber crime?
FSB is looking for small businesses that have been a victim of cyber crime and might be willing to talk to media to highlight the issue. Please contact the press office for more information or to express interest in media opportunities.

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Big Voice is FSB's unique, online research community and it's free for members to join. By commenting or responding to one of FSB's surveys, members give us the evidence we need to take to politicians at all levels, across the UK and in Brussels on the topics that really matter to them. This evidence is used to support FSB lobbying and help shape the laws affecting small businesses. Join for free and start making sure your voice is heard.

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