COVID-19: THE LATEST
In a televised briefing on Wednesday, Boris Johnson announced a number of changes to rules around social gatherings in England as well the steps businesses need to take to collect customer details - doing so is now a legal requirement in certain settings. From Monday, it will be compulsory for pubs, cafes and restaurants in England to collect customer information to aid track and trace efforts. Read FSB's Covid-19 hub for more details about how the changes will impact you and your business.
Similar rule of six restrictions have been introduced in Wales and Scotland. In Scotland, the new limit of six people applies to people from two households and applies to both indoor settings- including houses, pubs and restaurants - and outdoor, including private gardens.
In Caerphilly, Wales, family and friends living apart are no longer able to meet indoors following a spike in cases - the county lockdown is being kept under review.
Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, people living in the Belfast council area, Ballymena town and postcode areas BT43, BT28 and BT29 have been advised against making non-essential journeys outside the affected zones.
ADVICE AND OPPORTUNITIES
Scaleups in the UK generate £1 trillion in turnover a year and 3.5m jobs. If you're a business leader with high growth plans the Scaleup Institute wants to hear from you. Be sure to complete its ScaleUp Business Survey 2020 to let them know what challenges and opportunities you're facing.
Get ready for transition
The UK's transition period with the EU will conclude at the end of this year, meaning there are now less than four months until you'll need to be ready for changes to rules around various areas, including exporting, travelling and wider trade obligations. Visit the Government's transition hub for more information.
NEWS AND HIGHLIGHTS
UK - Japan trade deal
It was announced today that a trade deal between the UK and Japan has been agreed, the first of its kind since the UK left the EU. FSB welcomed the announcement, noting that over 130,000 small businesses already export to Japan.
New parliamentary committee report
The Treasury Select Committee has launched a new report looking into the economic impact of coronavirus. In his response, covered by Sky, the BBC and Telegraph, FSB's National Chair Mike Cherry said that as "the job retention scheme fully winding down over the next seven weeks, policymakers will need to look closely at measures to stem mass unemployment, including a successor scheme."
Ministers have this week announced new funding to support businesses in England impacted by Covid-19. Firms required to close due to local lockdowns will now be able to receive grants worth up to £1,500 every three weeks.
FSB has called for transition vouchers as the latest round of withdrawal talks took place with the EU. With the transition period ending on the 31 December, Mike Cherry told the Times and Telegraph that "negotiators need to agree a small business-friendly deal, and swiftly."
Digital skills resource
The new Make it Click small business hub, supported by FSB, offers an easy way for you to boost your online and IT skills. It includes a wealth of free online learning resources to help business owners and their employees increase their digital knowhow and confidence.
POLITICS, PARLIAMENT AND FSB
- We have working closely with Baroness Burt of Solihull in relation to the Lords second reading of the Trade Bill, emphasising how small businesses will play an important role in the UK economic recovery post Covid, with the potential for the number of small business exporters to double.
- This week FSB National Vice Chair Martin McTague gave evidence to the Lords Economic Affairs Committee regarding next steps following the planned ending of the CJRS on 31 October and our response to the Government's Kickstart initiative.
- We spoke to all parties regarding the Labour party's opposition day debate on Wednesday, raising concerns of FSB members around the end of furlough, parity of esteem for the self-employed, the upcoming CSR, Kickstart, amongst other issues. This lead to many mentions in the chamber and a comment by the shadow chancellor regarding FSB's continuing input.
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Big Voice is FSB's unique online research community for members. 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.