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19 July 2019

Weekly Brief 29 - Friday 19 July 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 

Strong Customer Authentication 

From September, European payments legislation will require online shoppers in the UK to provide two different forms of authentication - for example a password along with a unique code received by text - in order to make purchases with a value of 30 euros or more. The so-called -Strong Customer Authentication' rules will apply to businesses of all sizes. If you have concerns about, or views on, these new requirements, please contact Matt Dickinson and Lorence Nye.

LATEST ADVICE & OPPORTUNITIES

Re-enrolment made simple

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has launched an online tool to make it easier for employers to re-enrol their staff into workplace pension schemes. The new re-enrolment tool will assist small and micro employers to reach their re-enrolment dates in the coming months. See TPR: Re-enrolment made simpler for further details. 

THE SMALL BIZ WEEK IN REVIEW

Wednesday

FSB launched its latest campaign, -Going Global', showcasing the best small UK exporters and encouraging more business owners to seek opportunities overseas.

Previous FSB findings show that one in five small UK businesses export, but this proportion could be doubled with the right support, including export vouchers, tax credits and small business provisions in new Free Trade Agreements, including dedicated small business chapters.

Visit our campaign hub to find hear stories from small business exporters.

Elsewhere, FSB Business Banking became one of the first signatories of the new Investing in Women Code. Launched in Downing Street mid-week, the Code commits signatories to supporting female entrepreneurship in the UK by improving women's access to advice, resources and finance. Many banks and venture capital firms have signalled their support.

FSB Chief Executive Julie Lilley said: "Developing and supporting women's enterprise is critically important for the UK's economic prosperity and, as an organisation, we're walking the talk on this."

Thursday

Towards the end of the week, FSB Directors and members met with the Chancellor to discuss the UK's late payment crisis. Philip Hammond has vowed to continue supporting FSB's efforts to end the country's endemic poor payment culture. 

The talks follow recent government interventions, including proposals to fine repeat late payers and beef-up the Small Business Commissioner's powers. Discussions also covered the opportunities presented by innovative payment platforms to speed-up payments between businesses.

Speaking after the talks, FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: "Yesterday's talks mark the moment where politicians and business came together to say the UK is no longer a place where it is acceptable to pay small businesses late."

FROM THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

FSB Chairman's reception

This week FSB held its annual parliamentary reception in the House of Commons. MP for Rugby Mark Pawsey hosted the event, and spoke from his own experience as a small business owner. Mike Cherry called on parliamentarians from all parties to work together to end the uncertainty around Brexit in order to allow businesses to thrive and grow. Baroness Hayter, Deputy Labour Leader in the Lords, spoke about how important it is for parliamentarians to have real life small business examples to inform their debates and the role FSB plays in making this possible. Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst thanked FSB for its support during her first year as Small Business Minister and its work on late payments. 

Childcare business rates 

Tulip Siddiq MP (Labour, Hampstead and Kilburn) asked the Treasury what assessment it has made of business rates for independent childcare providers. Financial Secretary Jesse Norman said that the Government has taken action to reduce business rates for small businesses, adding that local authorities have powers to offer discretionary discounts.

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