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21 June 2019

Weekly Brief 25 - Friday 21 June 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

Trade with France

Do you have customers or suppliers based in France? We’re keen to hear from small businesses that export to or import from France to understand their experiences, whether you’re buying or selling goods or services. We’d also be interested in hearing from companies that have considered selling there or have done so in the past. To share your thoughts, please email James Sibley.

Amazon Marketplace 

Competition authorities are looking into Amazon’s role as both an online marketplace provider and a retailer in its own right. We're keen to hear from members that use Amazon Marketplace to sell their products in order to better understand their experiences. Let us know what you think by contacting James Sibley.

Small Business LGBT+ Pride

June is Pride month, and we are calling on LGBT+ small business owners and employees to share your stories and experiences with us as we celebrate the diversity of the small business community. We will be running a Pride campaign throughout June. If you're interested in being involved, please email Anna Phillips.

British Steel collapse

Following the collapse of British Steel in May, which placed thousands of jobs at risk. FSB wants to hear from anyone who may have had issues with contracts or payments from British Steel. If you have, get in touch at press@fsb.org.uk.

LATEST ADVICE & OPPORTUNITIES

Small business event on UK-US trade

Do you export or import to the US? Are you excited or concerned by a UK-US trade deal? The Department for International Trade, in conjunction with the Office of the US Trade Representative, is organising a UK-US SME Dialogue in Bristol on 9 July. The event will be an opportunity to hear about the opportunities and obstacles of accessing the US market, and provide input into how governments might best support small firms. The registration deadline is 25 June. To attend, please email James Sibley as soon as possible with your name, business name, and any dietary requirements.

Digital apprenticeship advisory group

The Government is convening an England-only advisory group for migrating small businesses onto the digital apprenticeship service. If you would like to join the group, please get in touch with Chinara Rustamova.

THE SMALL BIZ WEEK IN REVIEW

Monday

At the start of the week, FSB announced that it would be joining around 70 other member organisations from more than 30 European nations as part of SMEunited. SMEunited represents national cross-sectoral craft and SME federations across Europe and has worked hard on resolving issues such as late payments and online platforms.

Tuesday

Following severe flooding in parts of Lincolnshire, FSB’s Director of Communications Louise Stewart appeared on BBC News to discuss some of the issues that the flooding can cause for small firms. Watch her interview here.

Wednesday

This week, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy announced a new reform package on late payments that means company boards will now be held accountable for payment practices to small firms. FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry welcomed the victory which he said would help to see the culprits of late payments brought to account. The story was covered in The Times.

Thursday

On Thursday, Senior Policy Advisor Emelia Quist appeared in a BBC Newsbeat video looking at businesses changing to a four-day week. Emelia discussed flexible working and whether it would work for different industries and sectors.

FROM THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Late payments

The Government announced a package of measures to tackle late payments, including new powers for the Small Business Commissioner to issue fines and binding payment plans, and for company boards to be held accountable for supply chain payment practices. Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst and Shadow Minister Bill Esterson both paid tribute to FSB’s Fair Pay Fair Play campaign.

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