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17 June 2016

Weekly Brief 24 – Friday 17 June 2016

Book now for free FSB global trade event
FSB is holding an global trade event during the International Festival of Business in Liverpool. FSB’s day of discussion and debate, ‘From Northern Powerhouse to Global Markets – Small Firms and the Global Trade Agenda’ will be held on June 20 2016 at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool. It will be hosted by BBC North West’s Political Editor Arif Ansari and brings together an impressive list of international speakers. Click here to sign up and book your place.

EU referendum draws near
FSB has been supporting members throughout the EU referendum campaign by pushing for clear and independent information from both campaign groups, Britain Stronger in Europe and Vote Leave. We have provided this information in an EU referendum dossier, a series of podcasts and the videos of our #FSBEURef debate held on 13 June. You can now read, listen and watch all our materials to help make up your own mine before voting day.

Get the Small business vote out
The EU referendum next Thursday will be a crucial moment for small businesses. We have organised a social media thunderclap to help get the small business vote out on 23 June. We hope as many members as possible will support it by clicking the link below and supporting on twitter, facebook and/or tumblr. We are also encouraging members to give staff plenty of time to take part in this pivotal national vote.

FSB Chairman's Reception
On Monday FSB members from across the UK gathered in Parliament to lobby over 100 MPs, Peers and MEPs. Hosted by Minster for Small Business Anna Soubry MP, and joined by leading members of government and the opposition- including Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke MP, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP and Baroness Neville-Rolfe. Check out facebook album to see who was there.

Employment growth continues
The latest UK jobs numbers show employment up by 55,000 and unemployment down by 20,000. Wage growth has risen slightly - with average earnings, including bonuses, up by 2.0%, a consistent rate of growth with the previous period. Although the UK continues to make steady gains in employment and wages, current market fluctuations and political uncertainty are likely to impact numbers in future months. FSB commented saying that although unemployment rate is at historically low levels, but this does not seem to be translating into broader business confidence.

#Shemeansbusiness webinars
Facebook will hold its second webinar on Monday (20 June) to help businesses build their online and digital marketing skills, as part of its #shemeansbusiness campaign in partnership with FSB. The webinar begins at 10.30am and looks at how to grow your business using Facebook. Sign up for the event here and keep track of future webinars on the #shemeansbusiness webpage.

New British Finance Guide goes online
The latest edition of the British Finance Guide from ICAEW and the British Business Bank launched this week. It’s been published in hardcopy and this time, there is an interactive digital version that takes you through your finance journey at every stage of your business’ life cycle. This guide is a great starting point for businesses in finding the most suitable finance for their circumstances and plans to enable them to grow and thrive.

FSB looking to appoint a DCMS portfolio chair
FSB is looking for a member to lead our engagement with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. If you have experience in telecoms issues and would like to discuss this role further, please contact Will Black

New rollout planned for fibre by BT
BT Openreach announced the first nine locations this week that will have access to a new Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) product specifically designed for small businesses, offering ultrafast speeds of up to 1Gbps.

MPs call for more small businesses on LEPs
The Communities and Local Government Select Committee has published a report which echoes FSB’s concerns about small business representation on Local Enterprise Partnerships Boards.

Join Big Voice and get your business heard
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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