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29 September 2017

Weekly Brief 40 - Friday 29 September 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

Government policies heap pressure on small firms
New research by FSB shows small business outgoings have risen as direct result of public policy decisions over last five years- significantly outpacing inflation. The Impact of Government Policy Index has found a range of Government taxes, reliefs and employer obligations have caused outgoings for smaller firms to rise by an average of 12.5 per cent in the five years to 2016. National chairman Mike Cherry emphasised that policymakers should "take heed of this cumulative burden" when it comes to future policy interventions.

Further pro-business ideas needed from Labour
Labour's commitment at party conference to invest in technical and vocational skills as well as transport and digital infrastructure was welcomed by FSB this week. But commenting after Jeremy Corbyn's speech, Mike Cherry stressed that there should have been more of a "pro-business, pro-enterprise" vision presented during the event, with MPs and spokespeople debating new policy ideas to solve the big issues facing small firms.

Networking could help tackle loneliness of self-employed
FSB is urging the UK's 5.5 million small business owners and the self-employed to make more use of business networking groups to help increase their wellbeing and mitigate mental health problems that can be caused by isolation. Feeling lonely can have a negative impact on mental health, according to charity Mind, which is supporting FSB's wellbeing in small business campaign. Visit the wellbeing hub for information and practical advice for your business on mental health and general wellbeing.

Take part in our tax survey
FSB has now launched its tax survey, which will be critical for lobbying efforts to the Treasury and for the Government's Budget. We would like to know how much time and resources you are putting into doing taxes and how easy is it to access tax relief. Please check your inbox for a link to the survey.

Get involved with the Small Business Charter 
The Small Business Charter (SBC), which promotes greater levels of engagement between business schools and the small business sector, is looking for business leaders and entrepreneurs to join their management board. The board is responsible for the charter's governance, strategy and assessment of schools applying for the award and currently has two vacancies. To find out more about the role and to read about the key criteria for taking part, visit the Small Business Charter website

HSBC responds to FSB campaigning on account freezes
In recent months, a number of small firms have had their international HSBC accounts unexpectedly frozen as part of the bank's efforts to tackle financial crime. Following FSB campaigning on the issue, the bank is now taking steps to resolve errors made as part of its Safeguarding programme. More information about the programme can be found here. If you continue to be affected by this issue please contact Matt Dickinson.  

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.