FSB Friday newsletter: 18 June

News 18 Jun 2021

COVID-19: THE LATEST

For all the latest news and updates, visit our Covid-19 hub

The Department of Health and Social Care has launched a new toolkit for employers to help ensure employees get reliable information about COVID-19 vaccines. 

Access the toolkit to get materials for you to run internal awareness campaigns, including key messages, posters, fact sheets and videos providing accurate, up-to-date information. 

TRANSITION

The transition period came to an end on December 31 2020. If you are a UK business which trades with Europe, you will need to change your procedures and complete additional paperwork. See FSB's transition hub for further advice. 

NEWS & OPPORTUNITIES

Fresh FSB report 

FSB has launched a new report outlining a package of recommendations to help get the £130bn tourism and hospitality sector back on track after the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A Menu for Recovery explores the long-term help needed to ensure the survival of small hospitality and tourism businesses. Read more here

Reopening delay

This week the Prime Minister confirmed a four-week delay to the final stage of the unlocking roadmap in England. Responding to the announcement FSB called for urgent support for small firms carrying the burden of this latest setback.

VAT deferral deadline

If you deferred VAT payments last year you have until Monday to join the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme to repay in monthly instalments. The HMRC online portal for the new payment scheme will close on 21 June 2021.

Rent moratorium extended

This week Government announced an extension to the moratorium on commercial tenant evictions in England until 25 March 2022, as well as introducing mediation measures. Responding, FSB National Chair Mike Cherry said he hoped these changes will help to incentivise landlords to enter into positive negotiations with their tenants.

Broadband take-up

As part of FSB's role in the Gigabit Take-up Advisory Group (GigaTAG), we've worked with Which? and CBI on a new report looking at how the UK can capitalise on the rollout of gigabit broadband and drive take up amongst businesses and consumers. Read more about the report that launched this week.

Packaging Tax

The Government has published initial guidance to help businesses prepare for a new Plastic Packaging Tax, now available on GOV.UK. If you run a business that manufactures or imports plastic packaging, including if you import packaging that already contains goods, there are things you should do now to prepare for the levy. More detailed guidance will be published later this year in advance of the introduction of the tax in April 2022.

Shared Parental Leave 

The Government has launched a new online tool to help working families make the most of Shared Parental Leave. The tool is aimed at both employees and employers. Check it out here.

Disability Confident scheme

The Disability Confident scheme supports employers with the tools to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to the workplace. To find out more about Disability Confident and sign up, check out the Government's online guide.

EU Settlement Scheme

The deadline to apply for the EU settlement scheme is 30 June. If you're an EU business owner, or have EU staff, ensure you do not delay applications. Apply here

Copyright licensing

Do you show television programmes on your premises? If so, you will need to check that you have the correct copyright licences to do so. The Government is currently undertaking a review of legislation in this area. If you believe the legislation has had an impact on you, you can respond to the Call for Views here

Exporting experiences 

We are looking to speak to members about their experiences of exporting, in particular accessing export support, such as export finance, government guidance or advice from an international trade advisor. We'd also like to hear from members who export to Turkey, especially if you have experienced any technical standards that prevent or make it difficult for businesses to sell your goods in Turkey. If either of these are relevant to your business, please get in touch with [email protected]

Private credit guide

The Alternative Credit Council has launched a UK Borrower's guide to private credit, outlining the benefits of the asset class and helping business owners understand the private credit lending process. Access the guide here

THIS WEEK IN PARLIAMENT

- FSB was mentioned throughout the week in the context of Monday's disappointing roadmap delay. 

- Labour leader Keir Starmer referenced FSB's concern about the Government not paying significant attention to hard-pressed businesses that have to continue trading under restrictions or cannot open at all. 

- This was echoed by Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves, SNP Treasury Spokesperson Alison Thewliss and Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine, who all put our policy ask to the Government regarding delaying the point at which employers should contribute to furlough. 

- We were pleased that the Government extended the moratorium for evictions until 2022. We remain in contact with Government departments over other asks on business rates and cutting employer NICs. Furthermore, our focus is on making sure the 19 July is a date of certainty.

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