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24 June 2016

Weekly Brief 25 – Friday 24 June 2016

Need for stability paramount for UK small business
In the early hours of Friday morning, as the result of the EU Referendum became clear, FSB was quick to react to the news. In our press release, FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said “Clearly the EU Referendum debate has been contentious, but we now call on the Government and all parties to bring stability for the business community”. You can get more information on FSB’s reaction in our Linkedin blog. We also gained coverage in several media outlets including the FT BBC and the Telegraph.

Energy reforms a big win for FSB campaign
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decision on energy market reforms published today (24 June) is a big win for small businesses. FSB has campaigned hard to secure published tariffs and the abolition of unfair auto-rollovers and we will continue to work with Government, the regulator and energy suppliers to ensure these remedies are carried out. We will also be fully supporting Ofgem as it works toward a code of practice for non-domestic third party intermediaries (TPI). If you’re a microbusiness, find out here how the changes might help you.

Medics propose fit note extension for workers
FSB voiced its concern this week on a British Medical Association policy to extend doctor fit note requirements from seven days to 14. FSB gained a lot of coverage for its stance on this issue, including in The Sun, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Mirror and BBC Radio 5 Live. FSB said a change could lead to a rise in absenteeism and that fit notes are an important check in the system, which should not be undermined.

FSB exports reception with Lord Price CVO
FSB would like to invite members to an evening reception in the prestigious Admiralty House at the heart of Whitehall on Monday 18 July. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with small business exporters, meet UKTI trade advisors and hear the findings of a new FSB research on how Government can create the very best environment to get Britain’s small businesses exporting.

IFB event success
FSB brought together an impressive list of international speakers for its day long exporting event at the International Festival of Business in Liverpool on Monday (20 June). The event ‘From Northern Powerhouse to Global Markets’, was opened by UK Secretary of State for Business, Sajid Javid who called for greater intercity co-operation to bring wider prosperity to the Northern economy. This was followed by a series of panels looking at export opportunities, barriers to business and global supply chains. Check out our facebook page for the photos.

Celebrating our troops
Armed Forces Day will be celebrated on Saturday (25 June) across the country. Hundreds of events are taking place to pay tribute to troops who serve or have served in our Armed Forces. Recent FSB research found smaller businesses are increasingly positive about hiring service leavers and reservists. FSB has called for more to be done to help break down barriers faced by service leavers and reservists seeking employment outside of duty.

CMA warning over selling online
The CMA has written an open letter alerting businesses that if suppliers restrict their retailers’ prices that can break the law. It follows two recent cases where businesses were fined a combined total of more than £3 million for engaging in resale price maintenance (RPM). If you’re a supplier or a retailer selling online, read the CMA guidance or watch this short video explaining what RPM looks like in practice.

Parliamentary Update
Parliament was recalled on Monday to pay tribute to Jo Cox MP. Neither House sat for the remainder of the week due to the EU referendum.

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