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02 August 2019

Weekly Brief 31 - Friday 2 August 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.


Are you affected by pot holes?
Have you suffered damage to a vehicle due to a pot hole? Have you ever tried to make a claim to a local council for the cost of repairing damage caused by pot holes? We'd like to hear from business owners who have been affected and would potentially be willing to share their experiences with a journalist. If that's you, please email

Could you be FSB's Small Business of the Year?
The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2020 are now open for entries. The awards recognise and celebrate the huge contribution that smaller businesses and the self-employed make to the UK. 

Twelve area finals will be taking place between January and April 2020 across the country, with the national final taking place on 21 May 2020 at Battersea Evolution. Celebrate your story and showcase your success on a local and national stage. This year, there is a new Wellbeing in Small Business Award, recognising those who are making a commitment to wellbeing in the workplace.

Visit to find out more about each category and how to enter your business for free!

Help shape the Government's new data science and skills platform
The Government is creating a data science and data skills platform to help small businesses to develop their technical capabilities. If you are interested in testing the platform, and providing advice to the team working on it, please get in touch with

Are you an importer, exporter or investor?
The UK Government is reviewing the support that it offers to companies that are based in, trade with, or are interested in doing business in Africa. Please fill in this this short 5-10 minute survey if you'd like to help inform its efforts. 

Diamond cutters and traders
FSB is interested in speaking to small diamond businesses, in particular cutters and traders, about their experiences accessing finance. FSB has heard that certain banks have tightened their loan conditions following the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation. If your business is active in the diamond trade, please contact James Sibley via email at


Following the announcement that the Government is set to launch a £100 million no-deal Brexit awareness campaign, FSB's Policy & Advocacy Chairman Martin McTague said: "Increasing awareness is important but it's not a silver bullet. The fundamental issue for a lot of small businesses is that they don't have funds to put aside for expert help with navigating customs declarations and tariffs in the event that we suddenly become a third country." His intervention was covered on the front page of The Guardian

It was announced that the number of underlying company insolvencies in Q2 2019 increased by 2.6% to the highest level since Q1 2014 in England and Wales. FSB warned that "there's a real danger that a chaotic, sudden no-deal exit on 31 October will cause insolvencies to spiral further, meaning a significant hit to UK economic growth." Its reaction was picked-up by The Times, Reuters and The Independent.
The Government announced £108 million of funding for no deal Brexit preparations among small firms. FSB said: "it is welcome but not enough. We need the Government to recognise how much help our small firms actually need to prepare for a cliff edge no deal in less than three months' time." The response was included in the Financial Times and FSB's Head of Policy Sonali Parekh appeared on the BBC News Channel to discuss what policymakers should do next.  

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