The FSB has a branch and regional structure and members are encouraged to contribute to the policy making process by becoming involved at local level.
Scottish policy is determined by the Scottish Policy Unit (SPU) – this is made up of two representatives from each region and ensures that the voice of small business is heard at every level of government.
The SPU chiefly deals with issues which are devolved to the Scottish Parliament, such as business rates, skills, the environment, the legal system and transport. They also take an interest in any European or UK issue which has an impact on businesses in Scotland, such as the climate change levy or the cost of fuel.
The diagram below seeks to explain how policy issues are dealt with and progressed through the FSB's structure:
In short, though, FSB members feed in their comments and experiences to their local branch. Issues which are specific to that member, or can otherwise be dealt with at a local or regional level, will be addressed by the Development Managers.
If an issue relates to Scottish policy (i.e. an issue for which the Scottish Parliament has legislative responsibility), it is referred, via the regional SPU reps, to SPU. If it relates to a UK or European issue (such as VAT or Corporation Tax), it will be dealt with by the relevant UK Policy Committee.