With UK-EU trade talks resuming today, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry, said:
“The transition period will soon be at an end but the small firms that make-up 99% of our business community still have no clear sense of what they’ll be transitioning to.
“The economy is in a very different place today compared to the last time we were told to prepare for a no-deal outcome. Small firms don’t have the time or money to get across new bureaucracy or stockpile.
“Negotiators need to agree a small business-friendly deal, and swiftly. Concerningly – unlike all other major UK Free Trade Agreements – the draft terms of the EU deal don’t contain a dedicated small business chapter outlining how it will benefit firms of all sizes. We urgently need progress on this front.
“Given that small firms have been flat out managing coronavirus-linked disruption for the past six months, the Government needs to step in with substantial financial support to assist with transition preparations.
“Transition vouchers mark a sensible way forward: set sums that can be spent on expertise, tech and training that will ease the small business community’s move to a new relationship with the EU.
“If the Government wants firms to take preparatory action over the next few months, it needs to help them to do so. Business minds are, understandably, still very much focussed on coronavirus.”
As the UK’s largest business support group, FSB is the voice of the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed. Established over 40 years ago to help its members succeed in business, FSB is a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by its members, for its members. As the UK’s leading business campaigner, FSB is focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed.
FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including access to finance, business banking, legal advice and support along with a powerful voice in Government. Each year FSB also runs the UK’s Celebrating Small Business Awards. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk. You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.