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Business-support

Business Support

The Issue

For small businesses to compete, grow and stay current they need support. But the business support landscape is complex, with a patchwork of public and private sector initiatives at both local and national levels.

A lack of joined-up thinking by policy makers at a national level means there’s little understanding of whether business support is working or not.

Action FSB have taken

  • We’re calling for a greater co-ordination of business support by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Growth Hubs to avoid duplication or low take up.
  • We’ve lobbied the Government to provide a cohesive business support offer to small firms and to target support in areas such as exports and public procurement.
  • We led efforts to streamline the business support offer.

Our Ask

We believe a long-term and co-ordinated approach to business support will result in better services and consequently more energised and high-performing small businesses. We think this can be achieved by co-ordinating national plans and using Growth Hubs to deliver more targeted initiatives to help raise business performance.

Achievements in...


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UK/Westminster

  • We’ve called for the future of Growth Hubs to be assured, by asking the government to guarantee their funding after it comes to an end in April 2018.
  • We’ve asked the government to create a ‘What Works Hub’ for business support evaluation to help improve the design and delivery of business support schemes.
Visit UK/Westminster section
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Scotland

  • In 2013 we published a major paper, ‘Micros Untapped’, looking at the support available for the smallest firms in Scotland, especially those looking to employ staff.

  • The report highlighted the lack of awareness and understanding of the needs of small businesses by public agencies and government departments responsible for boosting employment.

  • In direct response to the report, the Scottish Government launched a £38 million SME growth programme.

  • The programme includes tailored business support for micro businesses, especially those looking to start employing staff.

  • We have lobbied and secured the most generous business support package in the UK, ensuring that Business Gateway is the main port of call for small business queries.

  • We’re lobbying the Scottish Government to incorporate all online public sector support to business into one site - my.gov.scot.

Visit Scotland section