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.
This paper looks at how small firms are unfairly carrying the cost of cyber crime in an increasingly vulnerable digital economy. It also makes recommendations for a range of policy measures designed to address these issues.