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08 June 2018

Weekly Brief 23 - Friday 8 June 2018

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.

FSB says Brexit back-stop must not be a full-stop

Reacting to the Government's unveiling of full plans for a so-called -Brexit backstop' on Thursday, FSB welcomed the common-sense plan which effectively extends the Brexit transition period to 2021. Despite this, smaller firms require certainty as to what they can expect in a post-Brexit landscape. FSB stressed that businesses want to see negotiators pushing on and making real progress in talks.  

 Majority of small businesses unprepared for business interruption

New data from FSB finds that many small firms are unprepared for possible external shocks to their businesses. Close to two-thirds (65%) of small businesses and the self-employed do not have any plan to cope with potential disruptions such as missed payments, loss of staff and severe weather.

 Small firms hit by TSB disruption must be compensated

Following TSB's IT meltdown which has affected accounts across the country, FSB is urging the bank to ensure that small business customers are compensated for the disruption they have suffered. Responding to the announcement of an FCA investigation into TSB, FSB also raised its concerns about the growing trend of bank branch closures which leave customers with nowhere to turn when IT problems hit.

 Time to get the shovels in the ground at Heathrow, say small firms

The Government announced this week that they would be pushing forward with plans for a third runway to be built at Heathrow Airport.  But after decades of delays, FSB called for the work on the runway to begin sooner rather than later.

Trump tariffs take hold

After the introduction of tariffs on steel and aluminium imports to the US by President Donald Trump, the Department for International Trade has issued advice to businesses in the UK which have been affected by them. The information, including the UK Government and EU's response to the move, can be found here.

 FSB backs archway businesses

The FSB is supporting small businesses who are based under railway arches across the UK. We are backing a campaign which supports businesses who will be affected by the sale of Network Rail's commercial property arm to private investors. Members are encouraged to sign the 'Guardians of the Arches' petition and we are keen to hear from members affected by the issue.

 Fresh support from the British Business Bank

The British Business Bank has launched a new online resource which helps small businesses access funding. The new site features checklists to get -investor ready', as well as articles from finance providers on how smaller businesses can identify and access the right finance to suit their growth ambitions.

 Contribute to rail fares consultation

On Monday, Britain's rail companies, alongside independent passenger watchdog Transport Focus, launched the first ever public consultation for businesses, employees and the public to have their say on what the fares system should look like. The consultation will run until 10 September. You can respond at britainrusnonrail.co.uk/fares.  

 FSB host exporting event at IBF

Are you interested in exploring exporting, or is your business part of a supply chain that trades internationally? FSB is hosting -Destination Export - Small Businesses as Strategic Exporters' at the International Business Festival (IBF) 2018 in Liverpool on Tuesday 12 June. The event, which focuses on the challenges and opportunities of international trade for small firms, is free and gives you free access to the nine-day festival. Register here.

 Join FSB's Transport Committee

If you have expertise in transport policy issues affecting small businesses, and would like to help shape FSB's work in this area, please get in touch with Will Black (will.black@fsb.org.uk).  Our work on transport policy covers a range of important topics, including road, rail and aviation. 

 Join Big Voice and make your business heard

Big Voice is FSB's unique online research community and it's free for members to join. By responding to one of our surveys, members give us the evidence we need to engage with politicians around the world on the subjects that matter to small firms. Join for free to make sure your voice is heard.