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05 May 2017

Weekly Brief 18 – Friday 05 May 2017

A wrap of the week’s small business news from FSB’s Westminster Press, Policy and Public Affairs Office. To sign-up for Weekly Brief emails, please use this link

Election manifesto 2017  
On behalf of the UK’s small business community, FSB has launched its manifesto for the 2017 general election. ‘Small business, big ambition’ sets out 30 steps the next Government should take to secure a pro-business Brexit, create a level playing field, cut the cost of doing business, and improve our working lives. As previewed by The Sun, FSB is warning political parties not to stand in the way of the 4.8 million UK self-employed with post-election tax hikes, including National Insurance. Read the full press release.

Air pollution plan revealed
The Government has released its plan to improve air quality across the UK. The Draft UK Air Quality Plan could affect diesel drivers, and the Government is considering a diesel scrappage scheme to compensate for this. According to the plan, clean air zones could be set up in dozens of cities and towns. But local authorities would be expected to develop “new and creative solutions” to reduce emissions, while avoiding undue impact on motorists. The plan says charging zones should only be introduced where local authorities fail to identify equally effective alternatives. The consultation is open until 15 June.

What should the next Government focus on?
Next week, FSB will launch a short survey to all members ahead of the general election. We want your views on what the next government should focus on, and what issues concern you as a small business owner. The survey takes less than five minutes to complete. To take part, check your inbox on Monday.

The RSA is running a campaign to seek views on how working life can be improved. They want to know what ‘good work’ means to you. Post a video on Facebook or Twitter using #GoodWorkIs to share your thoughts. You can also comment on Matthew Taylor’s blog post – he is leading the Government’s Review of Modern Employment.

Give your views on a new national work placement scheme for young people
The Department for Education is holding workshops to speak to small businesses about new work placements for 16-19 year old students undertaking a college-based technical education routes. Your thoughts are important as the majority of these placements will be in small firms. Workshops will be in London (23rd May - 09:00 - 12:00 /1st June - 13:00 - 16:00) Manchester (18 May - 09:00 - 12:00/19 May - 13:00 - 16:00) and Birmingham (24th May - 09:00 - 12:00). Travel expenses and additional costs will be covered. Please reply to Nathan Sansom by 5pm on May 10 to choose which workshop you would like to attend.

Network with German businesses
Small businesses in cultural and creative industries are invited to attend a networking event with businesses from the German state of Hesson. Hosted by the Enterprise Europe Network, Talk Creative 2017 is free and will be held in London on May 10. Register here.

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. Join for free and start making sure your voice is heard.