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04 January 2019

Weekly Brief 1 - Friday 4 January 2019

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.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU 

Have you been offered cash to go cashless? 

Fresh research is being conducted around the impact of decreasing cash use on small businesses. If you've been offered an incentive to stop accepting cash from customers (an example of the use of such incentives in the US can be found here) then we want to hear from you. Please contact Lorence Nye and Matt Dickinson.

THE SMALL BIZ WEEK IN REVIEW

Monday & Tuesday

As 2019 began, FSB national chairman Mike Cherry issued his new year message to members and small businesses across the country. He said that as well as Brexit, major domestic issues including business rates and late payments needed to be addressed.

Wednesday

Commuters were hit with an average rail fare increase of around 3.1%. When the rise was announced in the summer of 2018, FSB stated that the customers and staff of small businesses are hugely impacted by the chaos of delays, overcrowding and cancelled trains. This week it stressed that those using train services will be looking to rail companies to show that the money raised from the price hikes is being used to improve their journeys.

Thursday

A new report revealed that more parts of Wales were better connected to rural broadband than ever before, but some rural areas were still lagging behind. Mike Cherry commented that more work had to be done to bring all areas up to suitable speeds to allow businesses to function effectively. 

Friday

In 2018, the British high street took a beating, with many big businesses collapsing, and smaller firms equally facing difficulties. FSB's retail policy chairman, Michael Weedon spoke extensively to the Spectator about what we could expect in the retail sector over the year ahead.

FROM THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Parliament is in recess and will return on Monday 7 January.

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