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29 June 2018

Weekly Brief 26 - Friday 29 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.
Loss of 1,500 cash machines stifling small firms


Responding to new research from Which? published today indicating that 1,500 cash machines closed in the five months to April 201, ahead of a cut to the LINK ATM interchange fee from Sunday 1 July, FSB voiced concern about the impact of ATM closures on small firms. The two organisations have teamed up to run the #SaveOurCashpoints campaign, urging the Payment Systems Regulator to intervene and review the cash point market. Back the call by signing our petition here. 

Small business confidence hits one-year high as profits recover

Confidence among the UK's small business community has risen in recent months and now stands at a one-year high, according to the latest SBI from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The latest figures highlight that women entrepreneurs are now more confident than male counterparts, while concerns were raised across the small businesses community regarding regulation in the wake of the GDPR's introduction in May. National Chairman Mike Cherry discussed the findings in Wednesday's Daily Telegraph. 

Time for take-off on Heathrow runway plan

In wake of overwhelming parliamentary support for a third runway at Heathrow Airport on Monday, FSB is calling for small firms to be the front of the queue to help deliver the project.

Sharing is caring with apprenticeship voucher transfer scheme

FSB welcomed the news that the Government would be removing the restriction of levy transfers to only one employer which will give businesses more freedom over how they share their apprenticeship fund. 

Co2 shortage hits small business businesses

The recent shortage of Carbon Dioxide has strained the food and drinks industry across the UK, leading to concerns among small businesses impacted either directly, or as a result to disruption in their supply chains. If your business has been affected please let us know. 

Take part in a new study on e-commerce and cross-border parcel delivery

The European Commission is currently examining issues relating to cross-border parcel delivery and returns services within Europe, and FSB members are invited to participate in a new study being carried out on their behalf by research firm WIK. The survey is an opportunity for members active in e-commerce to share the problems they face and the improvements they would like to see when shipping goods cross-border. Take part here. 

Problems with platforms? Get in touch

If your business is active on an online platform (such as e-commerce marketplaces, user review sites, or price comparison sites) FSB would like to hear about your experiences. Have you encountered instances of online platforms acting unfairly? Excessive costs? Overly restrictive terms and conditions? Removal from a platform's search results? Get in touch with James Sibley. 

Small Business Saturday applications still open

Those wanting to apply to be among this year's Small Business 100 have just 24 hours 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. Applications close on 30 June  2018.

Business Fund launches

The BEIS Business Basics Fund launched this week, aiming to find innovative ways of encouraging SMEs to adopt existing technologies and business practices that can boost their productivity. A share of £2 million is available in this first call to develop and trial ideas. Find out more here. A webinar will also be held on 12 July or 9 August 2018.

Send us your self-employed selfies

On Monday (2 July) FSB will be launching the -Think Self-Employed: Supporting the 4.8 million climb higher' campaign. The campaign is a call to all politicians and policymakers to move the self-employed to the forefront of policy development, as well as a celebration of these fantastic entrepreneurs. We are asking members, both the self-employed and small business owners more widely, to get involved by taking a selfie of themselves and tweeting it on Monday 2 July explaining why they like being self-employed, or why they back the self-employed community. Please tweet using the hashtag #ThinkSelfEmployed (using a capital T, S and E in the hashtag) and tag @fsb_policy.  

Armed Forces Week 

FSB showed its support for Armed Forces Week with a digital PR campaign this week, highlighting those small business owners and self-employed workers who are connected to the armed forces, including ex-forces personnel, the spouses of those serving and Reservists. FSB, which has signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant, wants to support and encourage many more ex-forces personnel to start and run their own businesses. FSB is working more with X-Forces Enterprise as part of this.

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.