FSB Friday newsletter: October 02

News 2 Oct 2020

COVID-19: THE LATEST 

See our Covid-19 hub for the latest news and updates.

England
In England, a 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants is still in place. Some areas are subject to a local lockdown.

Scotland
People must not make indoor social visits to other households. Some parts of Scotland are in local lockdown. Meanwhile, pubs, bars and restaurants must close at 10pm.

Wales
The Welsh Government has announced the third phase of the Economic Resilience Fund for businesses impacted by the pandemic. A total of £40million has been allocated to a Rapid Reduction Business Fund to support those dealing with a local lockdown.

Northern Ireland
People can form a bubble with one other household but this must not consist of more than six people. Households must not mix in private dwellings, with exemptions including caring responsibilities, building or maintenance work.

Bars and private members’ clubs which do not serve food or have outdoor space available are now permitted to open for table service only. Six people from no more than two households can be seated at a table where alcohol is consumed, but more than six is permitted if everyone is from the same household.

ADVICE AND OPPORTUNITIES

Covid-19 survey
FSB wants to hear from businesses on the impact of Covid-19 on their growth prospects. FSB has worked tirelessly with the Government to highlight the difficulties faced by firms during these uncertain times and this latest survey will provide further evidence on the challenges on those trying to survive and grow in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Black History Month
FSB is celebrating black small businesses in the UK this Black History Month. If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, share your business story with us by e-mail or Twitter and let us know what Black History Month means to you.

Search for inspirational apprentices 
The Department of Education has teamed up with the Royal Navy to showcase inspiring stories of apprentices in England who have gone above and beyond during the Covid-19 pandemic. They will select stories for the special recognition award to be presented at this year’s National Apprentices Award on 25 November. The deadline for entries is 16 October. 

Mental health toolkit
During these challenging and sometimes isolating times, the way bosses speak to their teams is crucial. Mind has shared tips for businesses to communicate with their teams in a supportive way amid an atmosphere of worry.

Fire Safety Consultation
The Home Office has launched a consultation to strengthen fire safety in all regulated premises’ in England. Anyone affected by these proposals is invited to respond by October 12. The consultation includes proposals to strengthen current laws and improve compliance, as well as implementing the Grenfell Tower report recommendations that require a change in law.

CIPR 2020 conference
CIPR’s three-day conference – Communications Leadership in the New World – will consider lessons learned from the word of business, economics and politics. Speakers include FSB National Chair Mike Cherry. The event will be held on November 10 to 12.

Create a QR code
Small businesses should create and display an NHS Covid-19 QR code if they are a business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public. This service is only available in England and Wales.

NEWS AND HIGHLIGHTS

Late Payments
The Government has launched a consultation on new and very welcome powers for the Small Business Commissioner to tackle late payments to small businesses. The proposed powers include ordering businesses to pay on time and issuing fines if they do not. FSB National Chair Mike Cherry told the Financial Times: “We know that paying small businesses late is debilitating… in thousands of cases a year this causes the closure of small businesses.

Lifetime skills guarantee
FSB National Chair Mike Cherry responded to the Prime Minister’s ‘Lifetime Skills Guarantee’ speech addressing adult training and technical skills in England, as well as calls from the Migration Advisory Committee to include senior care workers on the skills Shortage Occupation List across the UK. He said: “This has been an area long neglected at a time when the job market is in turmoil, so it’s crucial that people are given the tools they deserve.”

POLITICS, PARLIAMENT AND FSB

  • FSB’s public affairs team is liaising with the government around late payment to support our work on the Small Business Commissioner Consultation
  • FSB was mentioned by Small Business APPG Vice Chair, Baroness Burt, as she moved an amendment to the Trade Bill which would secure greater procurement rights for small businesses
  • BEIS oral questions took place on Tuesday morning, with a number of MPs putting questions to Alok Sharma’s ministerial team on issues like loans, late payments, viability of city centre businesses and support for different sectors
  • We took part in a special EU Transition: Business Preparedness session with the Department for Business, to discuss the priority issues (immigration, skills, tariffs amongst our membership as we near the end of the transition period with the EU
  • Conservative Party Virtual Conference, where FSB are playing an important role, starts tomorrow and ends on Tuesday. Our main activity, including the Chancellor’s speech and our event with BEIS Sec Alok Sharma and Martin McTague, is on Monday

JOIN BIG VOICE AND MAKE YOUR BUSINESS HEARD

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