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01 November 2019

Weekly Brief 44 - Friday 1 November 2019

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.

LATEST ADVICE & OPPORTUNITIES

Register to Vote

With a snap general election approaching on 12 December, ensure you have registered to vote so that you can have your say. The deadline to apply is the 26 November, but this may be earlier if you'd like to vote by post. Find out more and register to vote here. As always, FSB will be engaging with all major political parties over the weeks ahead as manifestos are compiled. We'll be outlining our asks in our own small business manifesto shortly. 

Brexit Hub

As the Brexit process continues, check out our FSB information hub for practical information about how to plan and prepare for the UK's withdrawal from the EU. All of the information on the hub is based on information provided by the UK Government and the European Union. You can find out more here.

Business Moneyfacts Awards 

The Business Moneyfacts Awards is looking for feedback from UK-based small firms on commercial finance providers that they've dealt with over the last year. Complete a simple survey here for the chance to win a £150 Amazon voucher.

Innovate UK funding

There are several opportunities for small firms to compete for funding from Innovate UK. Applications can be made across range of areas, from the electric revolution, to fast start projects, to quantum technology. Click to find out more and apply.

THE SMALL BIZ WEEK IN REVIEW

Monday

At the start of the week, the EU confirmed that it would be granting the UK a Brexit -Flextension' until 31 January 2020. Reacting to the news, FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry welcomed the fact that small firms would be avoiding a sudden no-deal scenario, but added that "they will find themselves trapped by more uncertainty as Westminster fails to move beyond Brexit." This was covered by the Telegraph and the Mirror.

Tuesday

In an effort to break the Brexit impasse, MPs in the House of Commons voted in favour of holding a general election on Thursday 12 December 2019. Mike Cherry said that "a general election gives our 5.8 million small businesses the opportunity to tell MPs across the UK that this cannot continue. It is time for them to get back to the business of resolving the many domestic challenges such as radically reforming business rates, tackling the looming apprenticeships funding crisis and making sure local roads get the focus they deserve."

Wednesday

FSB's Director of External Affairs and Advocacy Craig Beaumont appeared on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 to discuss the forthcoming general election. Listen to his appearance here.

Thursday

Mike Cherry appeared on BBC News to discuss Brexit and the upcoming election. He outlined the asks of small firms, stressing that they're keen to see a return to the domestic agenda.

Elsewhere, the Treasury Select Committee issued a report warning of the negative impacts of business rates on businesses, urging reform of a broken system which is causing investment to flat-line. Mike Cherry said that the "ball is firmly in the Government's court when it comes to putting forward ways to improve the current business rates system." FSB's reaction was included in the Times and the Mail.

FROM THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Royal Assent was granted this week to the bill that mandates a General Election on Thursday 12 December. Parliament will be dissolved on Wednesday 6 November, which officially kicks off the campaign.  

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