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Whatever your business, the FSB will work for you.

Lobbying and Campaigning Achievements include:


FSB Lobbying

Benefits to FSB Members




Small Business Rates Relief (England)

Members consistently tell us business rates are a significant burden. It is therefore one of the key issues the FSB lobbies on.

Temporary doubling of SBRR has in England been extended to April 2015, meaning 360,000 of the smallest businesses will continue to receive 100 per cent relief and 180,000 will benefit from tapering relief.




Small Business Bonus (Scotland)

Members consistently tell us business rates are a significant burden. It is therefore one of the key issues the FSB lobbies on.

In Scotland the FSB has secured the most generous small business package (until 2016), benefiting almost 4,000 businesses.




Small Business Rates (Wales)

Members consistently tell us business rates are a significant burden. It is therefore one of the key issues the FSB lobbies on.

SBR will be fully devolved to Wales, and as a result the Welsh Government has now started consulting on reforms to the business rates system.




Small Business Rates Relief (Northern Ireland)

Members consistently tell us business rates are a significant burden. It is therefore one of the key issues the FSB lobbies on.

Lobbying has resulted in more businesses qualifying within the 20 per cent bracket. A full evaluation will take place during 2014 and the FSB is lobbying for the relief to continue beyond 2015.




Small Business Rates Relief (London)

Members consistently tell us business rates are a significant burden. It is therefore one of the key issues the FSB lobbies on.

A petition by the FSB to freeze interest in business rates for 2014-15 received a significant amount of signatures. This achieved a lesser interest increase of 2 per cent rather than 3.6 per cent.




Employment Allowance

FSB's comprehensive economic modelling shows a minor cut in NICs would allow small businesses to hire nearly 50,000 extra staff.

This data supported extensive lobbying which lead to the Chancellor announcing the Employment Allowance, a £2,000 cut from employers NICs bill, removing 450,000 firms from paying the tax from April 2014.




Interest rate swaps mis-selling

The FSB has led the work on lobbying for redress for small businesses.

To help with this complex work the FSB has secured professional guidance to assist with accessing redress from banks, and after the initial work we have achieved a shorter time-span for redress. We continue to monitor this work closely.




Access to finance

The FSB is tirelessly lobbying for greater competition in the banking sector and for reform to make the market better for small businesses.


As a result, the Chancellor has announced a market review of small business banking by the Office of Fair Trading. We are expecting this to lead to a fairer market.




Access to finance (Wales)

As a result of FSB Wales campaigning, the Welsh Government commissioned a two-stage review in to access to finance.


The review drew heavily on FSB input and produced recommendations for more wide-spread use of alternative finance and a reform of Finance Wales.




Access to finance (NI)

After extensive lobbying Invest NI introduced a new £5 million NI Small Business Loan Fund as part of their Access to Finance strategy.


Micro, small and medium sized businesses that have been refused funding by the private banking sector will have an additional avenue of accessing finance.




Business support (Scotland)

In direct response to FSB Scotland's ‘Micros Untapped' report, the Scottish Government introduced a new programme to deliver bespoke business growth.


As a result, small businesses in Scotland are now benefiting from new help delivered under the ‘Business Gateway Plus' banner.




Rollover energy contracts

For the past five years the FSB has been campaigning against the use of automatic rollovers in the small business energy market.


As a result of high profile lobbying all the Big Six energy companies have at last announced that they will end the practice of automatic rollovers. This means over four million businesses have been protected against this unfair practice.




Cost of fuel

The FSB has campaigned for many years against successive Governments' policy of increasing fuel duty.


As a consequence the Government has postponed the last three proposed increases. This is beneficial to members – especially those in the Highlands and Islands, and rural areas.




EU

In Brussels we continue to encourage the Commission, MEPs and the Council to ‘Think Small First' to ensure that they always take small businesses into consideration when lawmaking.


As a result the FSB stopped unnecessary health and safety regulation such as the Ergonomics directive, which was estimated to cost the UK anywhere between £90-300 million every year. The FSB also secured an exemption for over a million UK small trailers and tractors from unnecessary MOT tests.




Regulation

Regulatory reform has been on the top of the FSB policy priority list for many years.


The results is One-In Two-Out system which looks at reducing the number of regulations, and a also a policy which states that when Government develops new regulation it must consider the position of small and micro businesses, and consider measures such as exemptions to mitigate the burden new regulations might bring.




Local Government procurement

Research shows FSB lobbying has improved the proportion of local authorities that adopt measures to help small businesses win contracts.


As a result, in England over 90 per cent of local authorities have initiatives to help small firms win contracts; FSB Scotland has secured the first piece of primary legislation, which should ensure the Scottish public sector considers the economic impact of their purchasing decisions; and FSB Wales has called for, and secured, a National Procurement Service (launched in Nov 2013). Community benefit will be integral to the work of the service.




Apprenticeships

The Government is undertaking reform of apprenticeships, work that the FSB has heavily influenced.


As a result, apprenticeships will now be constructed to provide high quality training, in life and business skills, that will give young people the training they need for a fulfilling career. FSB Wales has secured a £40 million package, which offers small businesses up to £3,900 of funding towards the apprentice's salary in the first 12 months, and up to £500 per business for administration costs. The London policy region won a significant victory when it managed to get the Mayor of London to double the grant for taking on an apprentice in the capital.




Pubcos

FSB research shows pub landlords tied to big pub companies want to call time on harmful arrangements that hamper their ability to trade profitably.


Our evidence: that 75 per cent of tied pubs would invest extra profits in maintenance; 73 per cent in modernisation; and 78 per cent would work with micro-breweries, supported the long running campaign for a fairer playing field and led to promises from Government to look at legislative action to regulate tied pubs sector.