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22 June 2018

Weekly Brief 25 - Friday 22 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 urges Government to improve supply chain procurement for the sake of taxpayers and small businesses
The FSB called on the Government to accept a raft of public procurement reforms that will promote supply chain best-practice and unlock the potential of the UK's 5.7 million small businesses. Data from the latest FSB report, -Chain Reaction: Improving the supply chain experience for smaller firms', showed that 25% of businesses who are in the supply chains for public infrastructure projects experience late payment more than half the time.

Small childcare providers struggle to make ends meet
A new report from the National Day Nurseries Association has highlighted the impact of the 30 hours free childcare policy on providers. National Chairman Mike Cherry urged Government to commit to reviewing funding levels for the scheme, as well as a new business rate relief scheme to help struggling care providers.

Cost to settle still too high for some EU workers
Responding to the publication of this week's statement of intent on the settled status scheme, FSB emphasised the need for an affordable scheme to all those applying, but also welcomed the progress that the Government had made.

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.

FSB evidence to BEIS Committee
FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry gave evidence to the Businesses, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee as part of their small business productivity inquiry. 

Small Business Saturday applications still open
Those wanting to apply for the Small Business 100, have just a week left to apply. For the last five years, the 100 have not only received exposure on Small Business Saturday's social media channels and in the local and national press, but also joined the Small Business Saturday team in London at receptions in both Downing Street and The Treasury Drum with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Applications close on June 30 2018

Free e-learning available for SMEs
The Royal Foundation is funding Mind to develop free e-learning modules for employees in small and medium sized organisations where there is a gap in tailored information and support around mental health in the workplace. Join them for a focus group near you to help them test the e-learning and receive a £20 Amazon voucher to say thanks. On Tuesday 3 July they'll be in York and Cardiff and on Thursday 5 July they'll be in Belfast and Glasgow. These focus groups are a unique opportunity to get involved with this exciting initiative and improve the level of support available for employees in smaller organisations. Sign up here.

Flexible working insight needed
The Behavioural Insights Team is doing a piece of research with the Government Equalities Office to better understand small employers' views on flexible working and hiring returners.  They are looking to carry out 30-45-minute phone interviews with SMEs that have an interest.  The information collected from interviews will be completely anonymous, and the findings will be published by the Government Equalities Office.  If you would be willing to be interviewed please contact: shoshana.davidson@bi.team.

Check your inbox for membership survey
FSB lobbies decision makers and politicians on the issues most important to our members. This time, we'd like to know a little more about you and your business, so that we can make sure that we represent the views of different types of small businesses across the UK. So check your inboxes for the latest membership survey. Your views will help us to use robust data to influence government and ensure that all small businesses get their voice heard. 

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 by joining the Transport Committee, 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.