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23 February 2016

North East Bytesize Issue 158

Regional Events

Do you wish your staff could do more?

Hiring the right employees is important but it's not enough. Expecting them to treat your business with the same passion as you, sorry it is not going to happen unless…

You attend this free FSB event for guides and helpful advice on how to train and motivate your staff.


  • How to make the most of the skills your staff already have?
  • How you can help them to be more productive and motivated
  • Who can help you to train your staff

Register now at Close the Skills Gap and we will see you on Thursday 25th February at 6.00pm at Northumberland College, Ashington.

Managing and Avoiding Late Payments from Customers

Getting paid and avoiding bad debts  - how to maintain the financial health of your business’– a practical workshop for small and microbusinesses delivered by a specialist adviser from Business Debtline – the national charity that provides free advice and resources to help people deal with their finances and debts, both business and personal. The session will be ‘hands on’ with case studies and insight from Business Debtline advisers to help support the financial health of your business.

Venue: Biscuit Factory, Stoddard Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1AN
Date: Wednesday March 2nd
Timings: 13:00 to 15:00
Refreshments: Coffee and Tea

Venue: North Tyneside Business Centre, Saville Street, North Shields, NE30 1NT
Date: Thursday 3rd March 2016
Timing: 09:30 to 11.30
Refreshments: Coffee and Tea

Regional News

SSI Taskforce Support For Small Businesses

The SSI task force jobs and skills fund is a wage subsidy scheme to enable businesses in the Tees Valley and surrounding areas to create new job opportunities and employ former SSI employees, their spouses or partners (if living in the same household) and supply chain workers affected by the closure of SSI.

The scheme will subsidise the cost of employment for each new job created for a minimum of three years with a payment of 50% of the basic salary costs in the first 2 years of employment up to a maximum of £ 11,000 per employee.

Full details are available on the Tees Valley Website under the SSI task force section, enquiries on 01642 524412.

Cyber Security Training Announced for Small Businesses

Dynamo North East is teaming up with the region’s law enforcement agencies, universities and colleges to provide free Cyber Security training to businesses within the region. Beginning in March 2016, Dynamo will host six free training events on Teesside, Tyneside and Wearside to provide practical security guidance to organisations concerned about cyber-crime.

The training will focus on how to implement the measures promoted by the Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme. Adopting such measures significantly reduces an organisation’s vulnerability to the majority of common cyber-attacks.

Businesses with effective cyber hygiene are less susceptible to fraud, extortion, theft of customer data, denial of critical assets and other forms of financial loss. The Cyber Essentials scheme is also now a mandatory requirement for new contract awards to companies within the supply chains of Central Government and the Ministry of Defence.

Course agenda:

  1. How Cyber Security affects your organisation
  2.  Practical guidance towards implementation of the 5 controls of the Cyber Essentials Scheme
  3.  How to apply for Cyber Essentials certification

Course aims:

By the end of the session attendees will (1) be aware of the importance of the 5 Cyber Essentials security controls (2) understand how to implement them within their organisation and (3) understand how to apply for Cyber Essentials certification.

Who should attend?

The event is aimed at both business and IT managers.

How to register:

Events are being held at the following locations:-

University of Sunderland - 02 March
Newcastle College - 16 March
Newcastle University - 12 April
University of Sunderland - 27 April
Teesside University (Darlington) - 04 May
Teesside University (Stockton) - 18 May 

Business Durham Looking For Feedback from Manufacturers

Business Durham is currently undertaking extensive research to understand and identify how engineering and manufacturing businesses within County Durham could maximise the opportunities from the area’s economy for their development and growth.

As part of this work, we have created a survey, which will enable them to fully understand:

  • The challenges businesses in the area currently face, e.g. skills shortage, securing investment, managing a complex supply chain and winning new contracts.
  • The types of opportunities that businesses in Durham would like to compete for and win
  • How these challenges and opportunities could significantly impact the economy of the County. 
  • Generate an understanding of the competencies within the business base

The survey can be accessed via:-

Voting Under Way For FSB National Elections

Voting is under way for the FSB Commercial Director position.  We hope that you have received your National AGM papers in either electronic or paper format.  These explain how you can vote for the role of Commercial Director, which has more than one candidate standing.  This is an important volunteer position in our organisation so please take the time to find out more about the candidates and make your vote count.   If you haven’t received your voting papers please ring 01253 361188.’ 

To ensure fairness to all the candidates, Regions and Branches must not put anything in any newsletters, emails, letters, websites or any form of media to support specific individual candidates. For clarification, though, it is acceptable for the fact of a local candidate standing to be mentioned by name, in either Regional Voice or other media, together with the office but without further comment or endorsement. 

Equally the statement above must not be changed, or in any way used, or made to look as if it is being used, to support a specific candidate.  

If you or any member in your branch or region have enquiries or concerns regarding Electioneering, please contact us via

The profiles of all candidates and the role details are on and the URL of the online voting site is

Thank you very much for your help in encouraging good turnout in the elections.

Got a news story? Got some news you’d like to share? Get in touch

As a member led organisation we love to hear from you on the success that you’re having. Whether you have launched a new product, taken on a new member of staff or started selling in a new market we’d love to hear from you.

We can share this within the FSB network and with the wider press network across the North East.

Share your stories good or bad by emailing our Development Manager Simon Hanson or calling 07917 628 937.

See how FSB have campaigned on this issue

FSB Employment Protection from FSB

A wealth of important information and advice, available online in-case you face dismissal or discrimination claims and employment tribunals.

Find out more