Regional News Make sure you're ready for the T-Charge The T-Charge (Toxicity Charge) is part of a package of actions being taken to help clean up London's polluted air. It is an additional £10 daily charge which will apply if you drive an older vehicle that doesn't meet minimum exhaust emissions standards in the central London Congestion Charge zone, from 07:00 to 18:00, Monday to Friday. It will come into effect on 23rd October 2017. Use the vehicle compliance checker to see if your vehicle meets the required standard. You can find a full list of exemptions and discounts here. Payment of the T-Charge is the same way you pay the Congestion Charge. You can sponsor our great FSB awards The FSB's exciting new awards are now up and running and already we have seen hundreds of entries. Find out how you can enter at www.fsbawards.co.uk. We also have a number of area sponsorship opportunities, so if you think your business could benefit from supporting what could be the biggest SME awards in the region next year, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Christmas changes from London Bridge Station There will be major changes to rail services and significant closures from Saturday 23 December - Monday 1 January 2018, affecting rail services across London and the South East. Detailed travel advice and information to help you plan for these closures is now live at ThameslinkProgramme.co.uk/2017. You can sign up for passenger email or SMS alerts at ThameslinkProgramme.co.uk, and/or follow on Twitter / Instagram. Any questions about the Thameslink Programme, preparing your business for these changes or to request hard copies of leaflets for your staff, email: email@example.com. Can you help represent small businesses? HMRC's digital research department, specifically Customs are currently rebuilding their services on how to apply for VAT. Next week, on Tuesday 17 October, testers are invited to attend, for around an hour at Dorset House, Stamford Street, SE1 9PY. You will try out and feedback on the new process of applying for a Customs Identifiation number (EORI). A £60 voucher is offered for your time. Email HMRC with your details if you can help with this, or are willing to assist with giving feedback using a digital form or process. Business Issues Small Business Commissioner announced Former MP Paul Uppal has been announced as the new Small Business Commissioner - a role that FSB has long called for. Read our press release here. Budget announcements must stop the productivity rot The introduction of export vouchers, simplification of R&D tax credits and expansion of the Small Business Research Initiative would provide a much-needed boost to the manufacturing industry, which has seen a fall in output per hour. Mike Cherry said the Chancellor must intervene at the Autumn Budget to "stop the productivity rot" following the second quarterly fall in UK labour productivity in Q2 2017. You may also like 20 April 2018 Why I’m encouraging more ex-forces personnel to consider starting up a business, by Mike Cherry 16 April 2018 Mobile banking promise isn't first to be broken 13 April 2018 Weekly Brief 15 - Friday 13 April 2018 24 October 2016 Small Business Saturday bus tour send off 27 May 2016 Weekly Brief 21 – Friday 27 May 2016 04 May 2016 Make your vote count tomorrow!