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23 November 2018

Weekly Brief 47- Friday 23 November 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.

Be on the BBC

Could your product idea get onto the small screen next Spring? A brand new BBC TV series airing next year called The Customer Is Always Right is on the hunt for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and people who are proud and passionate about their products. To apply or find out more, click here.

Employing seasonal or temporary staff

If you are planning to take on temporary staff over Christmas, don't forget to factor in auto enrolment, as the requirements apply to seasonal workers in the same way as permanent employees. You'll need to assess your seasonal or temporary staff individually every time you pay them. For more information on dealing with seasonal workers, and to find out what legal duties apply, visit The Pensions Regulator website.

UK Investment Support Directory

The new UK Investment Support Directory (formerly the UK Advisory Network) will connect UK businesses with investors from around the world. Free to all members, the Directory will promote the expertise of the UK's service sector to investors. If you are a business operating in the UK, with experience supporting overseas firms set up or expand in the UK, please apply now using this link. 

Gigabit broadband voucher scheme

Businesses can still apply for £2,500 vouchers for gigabit broadband speeds before the scheme closes. The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme was initially expected to run until March 2021, but Government has now announced it will close a year earlier due to high demand. Click here for more information on how to apply.

Digital services for small firms

The Education and Skills Funding Agency is conducting research to inform the design of how registration takes place for the Digital Apprenticeship Service for small businesses. If you would like to take part, you can access the survey here.

Business productivity help

Want to fire up your organisation and be more productive? If you're a firm with 20-250 staff, you're eligible for this fully-funded pilot programme.The Career Innovation Company in partnership with the Institute of Employment Studies is running a funded project with the aim of boosting productivity in SME professional services firms. Please contact by 30th November.

Big Voice 

If you're a member of the Big Voice community, please check your inbox for our latest survey on apprenticeships. Big Voice is FSB's unique online research community, and it's free for members to join. By responding to one of our surveys, you give us the evidence we need to engage with politicians around the world on the subjects that matter to you. Join for free to make sure your voice is heard.




In response to Theresa May's speech at the CBI conference, FSB warned that a post-Brexit immigration system must be one that works for small firms. Currently, one in five small businesses rely on EU workers, so adding complex paperwork and surcharges will only cause problems for firms. The Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, included a feature on FSB's Women in Enterprise report, which was unveiled last week.


Intellectual Property theft was an issue discussed by the BBC on Tuesday. Following an interview with FSB's Head of Policy, Sonali Parekh, the article highlighted that 9% of small British firms are subject to IP infringements at some time.


Deputy Head of Public Affairs Ruby Peacock represented FSB on a panel organised by think tank Bright Blue.

She discussed how more women are setting up businesses but added that there were still obstacles for those wanting to set up their own firms.


Brexit remained one of the hot topics this week, and Prime Minister Theresa May issued a statement to the House of Commons on how negotiations were continuing. Responding to this, FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said that this was just the start of a "monumental task in shaping what our eventual future relationship with the EU will be once we actually leave."

We hosted a Twitter chat following the launch of FSB's report Going for Growth: Helping small firms flourish through access to finance, with industry experts. If you want to catch up on the chat, visit the hashtag #FSBchat.


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