NEWS AND OPPORTUNITIES
Interest rate rises again
The Bank of England has raised the base rate to 1%, its third rise so far this year. In response to the news, FSB National Chair Martin McTague said: “Small businesses are caught between a rock and a hard place: spiralling operating costs on one side, rising personal and professional debt costs on the other. This is a moment for the banks to step up: helping their small business and sole trader customers to manage the effects of rising rates responsibly. Widespread collapse is not good for anyone long-term.” ONS figures released on the same day (5 May) show that only 84% of microbusinesses say they are currently fully trading, compared with 97% of large corporates.
FSB energy survey
FSB members are encouraged to respond to our latest survey, looking at the impact of rising energy costs on small businesses as we seek to further lobby the Government for support for small firms. FSB would also like to understand how changes to the National Living Wage in April have impacted your business. This information will inform our response to the Low Pay Commission as it prepares to make recommendations to the Government for the NLW next year.
Guidance for employing Ukrainian refugees
The Government has published guidance for businesses wishing to employ Ukrainian people who have fled to the UK. Prospective employers are asked to fill in a questionnaire so that suitable vacancies can be compiled centrally.
Professional services Russia ban
Providers of professional services including accounting, management consulting, and PR will no longer be able to sell their services to clients based in Russia, the Foreign Secretary has announced. In addition, 63 new sanctions have been put in place.
Small business employment of disabled people
FSB Policy Advisor Becca Gooch has written a blog post setting out the key findings of FSB’s recent Business Without Barriers report into disability employment, and explaining FSB’s recommendations for Government.
FCA screen-sharing warning
The Financial Conduct Authority has warned investors about the dangers of screen-sharing programs, which potentially allow scammers to view and access sensitive information. Although aimed at investors, the FCA’s warning against allowing screen sharing from third parties applies equally to small business owners and employees, and sole traders.
Corporation Tax video and employer webinars
HMRC has produced a short video aimed at start-up businesses on how to prepare your first Corporation Tax accounts, available via its YouTube page. HMRC has also added dates for upcoming webinars on employees with more than one workplace, phones, internet and homeworking, trivial benefits, social functions and parties, and submitting forms P11D and P11D(b) online.
How to cut energy costs
The Zero Carbon Business Partnership is holding a webinar aimed at small businesses on 10 May, setting out how they can cut their energy costs and help the UK move towards net zero.
Tortoise climate summit
Join the Tortoise Climate Summit “Is a fair transition faster” on 12 May for an afternoon discussing the transition to net zero. FSB members can attend for free by using the code FSBGUEST when booking.
Mast climbing work platform alert
The Health and Safety Executive is urging any firm which uses a mast climbing work platform (commonly used in construction and related industries) to check for a fault which, if left uncorrected, can cause platforms to fall from height, potentially causing death or serious injury.
FSB webinar on the positives of older workers
Next week FSB is holding a free webinar on how older employees can benefit their places of work, looking at the business case, recruitment, and retention of key skills of this segment of the workforce. Sign up here (10 May).
FSB SUPPORT AND INFORMATION
- Our Sustainability Hub has everything you need to help you on your journey to net zero.
- If you are a UK business which trades with Europe, keep track of the latest changes and developments via FSB's Transition Hub.
- Our #BusinessWithoutBarriers hub on disability and health conditions has free guidance and resources to help small businesses make their workplaces more inclusive, and to help disabled entrepreneurs identify opportunities and support.
JOIN BIG VOICE AND MAKE YOUR BUSINESS HEARD
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.