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09 August 2019

Weekly Brief 32 - Friday 9 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.


Now is the time to make politicians listen to your concerns

Big Voice is FSB's exclusive survey programme which is used by thousands of members right across the UK's nations and regions, and is completely free to join. Each survey takes only a few minutes to complete - and the results can have a real and positive impact for small businesses.

If you're an FSB member and would like to have your voice heard, you can sign up to Big Voice and help to make a big difference. 

Protecting intellectual property & sharing data 

Have you suffered from intellectual property theft when trading internationally? If so, we would be interested to hear about your experiences to help inform our efforts tackle malpractice in this area. Please get in touch with Oliver is also keen to hear from if you have ever been required to localise or process data when providing goods or services internationally.


HMRC webinars

HMRC is inviting business owners to take part in a fresh set of webinars covering a range of topics over the months ahead. Those involved in the Construction Industry Scheme can join a session on the new VAT reverse charge on 2 or 18 September. Other webinars will cover processing expenses, tax treatment for parties and providing accurate payroll information.  



New FSB research was published, showing the major risk cybercrime continues to pose to small businesses, with UK small firms collectively subject to 10,000 cyber-attacks a day. The findings were covered by the Times, Telegraph and BBC London. Off the back of the research, FSB Policy and Advocacy Chairman Martin McTague's called for renewed efforts to upskill police personnel to better equip them to handle cyber issues.


FSB became the first business group to call for an Emergency Budget before the 31 October Brexit deadline, urging the Government to "get serious about planning and preparing the economy." Asks for such a Budget include cutting Employer NICs, increasing the Employment Allowance and making Brexit vouchers available to those impacted by the prospect of a no-deal scenario. 


FSB called on the Government to automatically issue EORI numbers to VAT-registered firms that trade exclusively with Europe, to help small businesses prepare for a no-deal Brexit on 31 October. The story was covered by Sky as it emerged that only a third of firms that trade exclusively with the EU - and will therefore need one of these numbers to continue trading with the bloc post-Brexit - have applied for one. 


In a joint letter to the Chancellor, FSB, along with the Federation of Master Builders and a number of trade bodies, called for a delay to introduction of the reverse VAT charge. The groups warn that a rushed roll-out could mean "a loss of productivity, reduced cashflow and, in the worst cases, lead to a hit on jobs." The Times carried the story.


Responding to the latest GDP growth estimate from the ONS - suggesting that the economy is contracting - Martin McTague has stated: "today's figures clearly demonstrate the need for the Chancellor to intervene with an Emergency Budget before Brexit happens. If the Treasury delays action until after 31 October, its efforts will likely prove too little too late." The intervention has been covered by the BBC in its lead story online.   


Big Voice is FSB's unique online research community and it's free for members to join. By responding to one of our surveys, members 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.


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