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28 September 2018

Weekly Brief 39- Friday 28 September 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.

Labour must outline spending plans, say small firms

Reacting to Jeremy Corbyn's speech at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool this week, FSB welcomed some of the new commitments from the Labour Party - particularly around high streets - but said that more detail was needed on how it intendeds to fund its plans. The party's pledges include an extension of the 30 hours of free childcare policy, ambitious emissions targets and a commitment to create 400,000 more skilled jobs in the energy sector. FSB featured widely in the press on this matter including the Sun, Mirror and the Mail. Shadow Small Business Minister Bill Esterson also voiced his support for the FSB here.

Nominations for FSB volunteering opportunities open Monday 

FSB will be opening online nominations for both local and national volunteer opportunities on 1 October. In a move towards greater democracy, FSB is holding both nominations and voting online. We are committed to increasing the diversity of business owners standing for elected office. 

Majority of small firms being paid late in European supply chains

It has been revealed in a new FSB report that the vast majority of small businesses who operate within a European supply chain are paid late. -Pay it Forward: Lessons and recommendations for Europe from the UK payment landscape' reveals that, despite positive steps such as the introduction of the Late Payment Directive, the issue of poor payment practice continues to persist across Europe.

No-deal Brexit technical notes raise concerns

Responding to the release of the latest round of no-deal Brexit technical notes earlier this week, FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said the current Brexit negotiations had heightened concerns among small businesses whose confidence has already dipped into negative territory this quarter. He added that a chaotic no-deal Brexit will be damaging and dangerous to SMEs. Sky News featured the FSB in their story here.

Small Business Saturday bus route announced

The route for Small Business Saturday's annual nationwide bus tour has been announced. Now in its sixth year, the bus will visit 30 locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, starting on Thursday 25 October in Blackburn. Visit the Small Business Saturday website to find out about the route, book mentoring sessions and apply to be a -Business on Board'. 

Counting the cost of calories

Under new plans announced as part of the Government's childhood obesity strategy, it has been proposed that all restaurants, cafes and establishments that sell food will need to display how many calories are in each of their products. FSB would like to know your thoughts on this matter, please contact Jordan Bhatt.

Applications open for innovation funds

Innovate UK is offering up to £10 million in loans to smaller firms for innovative, late-stage projects.  This is the final scheduled competition in the Government's £50 million innovation loans pilot programme. The aim of this competition is to provide affordable, flexible repayment loans to help small firms undertake later-stage, game-changing projects. The deadline for registration is 14 November. Apply here.

Businesses in the community focus group and survey

FSB wants to hear your views on how small businesses play a part in their communities:  supporting charities, social enterprises and local groups. Small businesses add social value to their surrounding areas - with implications for procurement processes. A Big Voice survey on this issue is already out, so please check your inboxes. FSB is also setting up a focus group to discuss the subject. Please contact Matt Jaffa to attend. 

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.