This response provides the FSB's views on the Scottish Government's 2017 Non-domestic rating revaluation - consultation on possible transitional arrangements. FSB argue that on balance, considering the wider economic context, that a transitional scheme would be broadly appropriate for the 2017 revaluation.
This response provides the FSB's views on the Scottish Government's consultation on the use of rateable value to charge non-households for water and sewerage services. FSB continue to argue for fairness and, in particular, do not support the continued link between rateable value and water bills.
Scottish smaller business confidence reached its lowest ebb since 2011 following June’s referendum. The Scottish confidence index fell to -18.8 points in the third quarter of 2016, down from +1.7 points this time last year However, many Scottish firms plan to tap cheaper credit to deliver postponed investment plans.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that UK small business confidence has continued to fall, dipping into negative territory for the first time since 2012. Business owners feeling confident are outnumbered by those that feel the opposite. However, FSB found many immediate economic conditions improving, with small firms reporting greater access to finance, a rise in new employment and reduced spare capacity in their businesses.
2017 will also see a revaluation of business rates. These occur every five years when the Valuation Office Agency conducts a revaluation exercise to determine the rateable value of all public and private non domestic properties. However, the planned Revaluation in 2015 did not take place and was instead postponed until 2017.
This response provides FSB's views on the Scottish Government's consultation on their response to the UK Apprenticeship Levy. FSB argue that the proceeds from the levy would yield a greater economic impact by investing in the growth of the regional skills academy model and by creating a flexible skills fund.
This response provides FSB's views on the Scottish Government's review of enterprise and skills services in Scotland. FSB argues for a business support system that is, shaped by user needs, delivers for small businesses and provides a co-ordinated, joined-up, inclusive and expert service to all firms.
This report found apprenticeship reform at a make-or-break moment, with small firms critical to achieving the Government’s target of reaching three million new apprentices by 2020. The report clearly demonstrates the potential of small firms to help meet the target, but also presents some major challenges which need to be addressed to achieve it.
The report highlights key characteristics and drivers of small firms that currently export and, crucially, the potential exporters of the future. The focus on potential exporters offers insights into what more could be done to move the dial on growing the number of small firms selling overseas.
This response provides FSB’s views on draft regulations for community planning under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. FSB argues that greater emphasis should be placed on Community Planning Partnerships to work with smaller firms in a more business friendly manner.
This response provides FSB’s views on draft regulations for asset transfer under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. The Act will make it easier for community groups to take over control of public sector land or buildings, a move that could affect smaller businesses.
For the second quarter in a row, the FSB’s confidence index shows that Scottish business owners who expect trading conditions to deteriorate outnumber those who believe they will improve. FSB argues that governments in Edinburgh and London need to take action to reverse this trend.
The latest Small Business Index (SBI) found small business confidence at a four year low following the largest annual drop in the FSB Small Business Index (SBI) since it started in 2010. The latest SBI, gathered before the EU referendum, found smaller firms planning to cut jobs for a second consecutive quarter. FSB members reported falling profits with increases to the cost of labour and the overall tax burden listed as major contributors to a rise in the cost of doing business.