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08 December 2017

Weekly Brief 50 – Friday 8 December 2017

A wrap of the week’s small business news from FSB’s Westminster Press, Policy and Public Affairs Office. To sign-up for Weekly Brief emails, please use this link.  
Time to move on to trade and transition in Brexit negotiations 
'Sufficient progress' has been made in the first phase of Brexit talks allowing discussions to move on to Britain's future trading relationship with the EU, it was announced on Friday. 
Responding to the news, National Chairman Mike Cherry said future negotiations must guarantee no cliff-edge moment on Brexit day, but instead an "orderly, time-limited transition period so that small firms only have one set of rule changes". Read FSB's full statement, including comments on EU citizens and the Northern Ireland border. 

Record spending on Small Business Saturday 
It was another successful year for Small Business Saturday, with a record £748 million spent with small firms, up from the £717m last year. On the day, FSB representatives were out and about meeting with local business owners as well as politicians including John McDonnell, Greg Clark and Caroline Lucas. As well as an increase in spending, the amount of local authorities taking part rose to 87%. More than 115,000 tweets were sent, reaching more than 115 million people and #SmallBizSat trended at number one on social media in the UK. Read our news story about the campaign and catch up on our highlights by checking out our Storify page

Cash machine investment vital to local growth
FSB has welcomed the Treasury Committee's scrutiny of proposals to reduce the fee paid by card providers to cash machine operators, put forward by LINK which runs free-to-use cash ATMs cross the country. Mike Cherry said: "As bank branches close, businesses and shoppers are becoming more reliant on ATMs so reducing investment in cash machines is the last thing small firms need."  

FSB to host Twitter chat about skills and training
Leading figures in skills and employment are to join FSB in a Twitter chat looking at the importance of skills training in the workplace. On the panel are economist Katharine Mullock, Sarah Carter from Enterprise M3 LEP, Sam McGreevy from Lloyds Banking Group's SME & Charity Digital Capability team, tech entrepreneur and skills champion Anthony Impey, as well as Policy and Skills Advisor Annie Peate. The online event, on Tuesday 12 December from 12pm to 1pm, will mark the launch of FSB's new skills report. Follow the conversation and get involved by using the hashtag #FSBChat and submit your questions before by tweeting @fsb_policy. We'll be discussing how small business owners are investing in developing skills within their businesses and the challenges they come up against.

Parliamentary mentions
During a debate about better regulation in the House of Lords on Thursday. a number of Lords cited FSB and the experience of its members when it comes to regulation. Baroness Neville-Rolfe said "The Federation of Small Businesses says that regulation is a top priority for its members".
Lord Curry of Kirkharle said that he does "firmly agree" with FSB, adding that an even more effective structure is needed "to monitor regulation going forward than we have today, not a lesser one".

Also in the Commons this week, Robin Walker (Con), Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, cited the work he is doing with FSB to inform the UK's negotiations with the EU. 

Do you currently benefit from anti-dumping or anti-subsidy measures? 
The Department for Trade is preparing a UK trade remedies framework in readiness for the UK leaving the EU. They want to identify which UK businesses produce goods currently subject to anti-dumping or anti-subsidy measures and whether they support or oppose them. If a measure does not receive an application to be maintained it will be terminated once the UK begins to operate its framework. More information and the consultation are online here. If you'd like to discuss with FSB, contact Public Affairs Advisor Jessica Smith.

Calling all exporters and importers
FSB's International Trade Policy Unit has created a LinkedIn interest group to allow members to discuss international trade. Any members currently involved in import or export and provision of services to this sector- or considering getting involved- can join the group. Search FSB International Trade Policy Group on LinkedIn.

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