October 20, 2011

Campaign launched to encourage female entrepreneurship

by Jan Harris

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and business community network Everywoman have jointly launched a campaign to encourage more women to start their own businesses. The Real-Life Entrepreneurs campaign aims to provide solutions to help entrepreneurs deal with everyday challenges. The FSB and Everywoman are calling on the government to set targets for growth in […]

October 17, 2011

SMEs less confident as GDP growth falls

by Jan Harris

Optimism among UK small businesses has taken a battering following a 0.1 per cent downwards revision in GDP growth for the second quarter of this year. According to the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) ‘Voice of Small Business Index’, UK SME confidence fell by 9.6 points from a positive 0.3 to -9.3 in the third […]

October 3, 2011

Lancashire SMEs at risk from MOD cuts

by Jan Harris

The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that the loss of more defence jobs as a result of changes to the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 Lightning II jet projects, will have a knock-on effect on small businesses in Lancashire. Steve Pye, chairman of Fylde’s Federation of Small Businesses, said that the loss of around 1,400 […]

September 30, 2011

Small retailers confused over carrier bag charge

by Jan Harris

From tomorrow, shoppers in Wales will have to pay at least 5p for a formerly free carrier bag, as part of the Government’s efforts to cut down on the number of bags going to landfill. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Wales is helping to make sure that smaller retailers are up-to-speed with the new […]

September 9, 2011

FSB urges Cameron to support banking reform

by Jan Harris

With the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) due to release its final report on Monday, the national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has written an open letter to David Cameron asking him not to ‘water down’ the proposed reforms. The ICB is expected to recommend the separation of banks’ retail and investment […]

August 9, 2011

Riots prompt FSB to demand increased protection for SMEs

by Jan Harris

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) issued a statement following last night’s riots caused chaos in cities across the UK. Violence flared in several parts of the capital, as well as in Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol and Nottingham. Chairman of the FSB, John Walker, said: “The violence and looting that spread across London, and other cities, […]

May 10, 2011

FSB calls for interest rates to stay low

by Jan Harris

Increasing interest rates in order to combat inflation could damage smaller firms, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Despite recent expectations that rates could rise, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England kept interest rates at 0.5 per cent, when it met last week. The rate has been at this level […]

March 25, 2011

FSB warns budget doesn’t go far enough on job creation

by Jan Harris

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed some aspects of Wednesday’s budget but claims that planned new employment laws could hinder job creation. The new laws are expected to significantly increase the cost of creating new jobs and employing people. John Walker, national chairman of the FSB, said that failing to include existing businesses […]

March 3, 2011

FSB concerned over business rates reform

by Jan Harris

The Government has revealed plans to give councils the power to keep more of their business rates, with a view to becoming independent of funding from central government. The proposals, which are part of the Local Government Resources Review, would see an end to the current system where rates are centrally pooled and redistributed to […]

February 28, 2011

FSB calls for reform of Business Gateway contracts

by Jan Harris

The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism (EET) Committee’s review has prompted the Federation of Small Businesses to call for an amendment to Business Gateway contracts. Business Gateway provides practical help, advice and support for new and growing businesses in Scotland and demand for the service is growing. In the final quarter of 2010 the […]

January 31, 2011

SMEs Need Help To Start Exporting

by Jan Harris

Recent studies highlight the even though small businesses can benefit significantly from expanding their customer base overseas, few of them plan to move into the export market because of the perceived barriers. According to a survey of 1,000 UK SMEs carried out by Kingston University on behalf of Barclays, only 2% of the small firms […]

January 4, 2011

Small businesses worst hit by VAT hike

by Jan Harris

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned that over 70 per cent of SMEs expect to be adversely affected by today’s increase in VAT to 20 per cent. Small businesses are believed to be less able to absorb the VAT increase than larger firms, meaning that the cost increase will have to be passed […]

December 21, 2010

SMEs need help to survive the cold snap says FSB

by Jan Harris

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) wants both the public and private sector to support SMEs over Christmas and New Year, when many are struggling to survive. The severe weather has caused travel chaos, with consumers struggling to get to the High Street and workers staying at home in the face of hazardous driving conditions. […]

December 6, 2010

UK campaigns against 20 weeks maternity leave

by Jan Harris

The UK is spearheading a campaign against EU proposals to increase fully-paid maternity leave from the current EU minimum of 14 weeks to 20 weeks. Employment ministers are expected to reject the decision by MEPs to increase maternity provision at today’s meeting of the EU Employment and Social Affairs Council. British employment relations minister Ed […]

November 29, 2010

Companies to provide breastfeeding facilities

by Jan Harris

The government is planning to introduce rules to make the workplace ‘new mother friendly’, which could mean companies having to provide areas for nursing mothers to breastfeed and fridges to store breast milk. The timing of the initiative, coming soon after the government’s comprehensive spending review, has led to criticism that the move will put […]

October 12, 2010

FSB outlines national mentoring scheme proposals

by Jan Harris

The Federation of Small Businesses has outlined its vision to create a national mentoring scheme in a new report. Although the Government provides business support of between £10 billion and £12 billion pounds each year, only 5 per cent of this goes to micro businesses – firms with fewer than 5 employees – even though […]

August 18, 2010

Government should help small businesses go green

by Jan Harris

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has outlined ways that the government can help small businesses go green in a new report’; ‘Making sense of going green – small businesses and low carbon economy’. The UK is expected to reduce its carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 and the FSB believes that small […]

August 17, 2010

FSB warns pension reforms could harm micro firms

by Jan Harris

The automatic enrolment pension scheme, due to come into force in October 2012, could be detrimental to so-called ‘micro firms’, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned. Micro firms – those with 10 or fewer employees – should be exempt from the new rules according to the FSB. Under the proposed scheme it would […]

April 27, 2010

Interest rates turn SMEs away from banks

by Jan Harris

A survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that UK SMEs are still finding it tough to secure bank funding, and are increasingly seeking alternative sources of finance. The survey, of over 1,400 FSB members, found that only 18 per cent of SMEs have sought new credit from banks over the past two […]

April 1, 2010

Government should help small businesses go green

by Jan Harris

A study carried out by ICM Research for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that the government needs to do more to help small businesses be more environmentally friendly. The study suggests that the Government needs to provide better information to small businesses to help them go green The FSB wants the Government to: […]

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