The FPB is stepping up its lobbying to ensure the Government responds to members’
concerns about the health of the UK’s small business sector
he early months of 2009 have been Minister on 12 February, when Peter Luff
intensely busy for the FPB’s Campaigns MP quoted the experiences of some of our
team. With members continuing to members, demanding that action be taken.
experience difficulties accessing finance, we On 14 January, the Government announced
are maintaining pressure on the Government details of three schemes to help small businesses sector, and is calling on the Government
to take drastic action to help small firms. Phil access finance: the Enterprise Finance Guar- to focus instead on the prompt reform of
Orford recently met the Prime Minister, and antee Scheme, the Working Capital Scheme regulations that have already been identified
he sits on the Government’s Small Business and the Capital for Enterprise Fund (see page 4 as unnecessary.
Forum and Small Business Finance Forum. opposite for a summary of these initiatives).
Economic Downturn Panel Tax The Ipsos MORI National Business Survey
In response to the recession, we have put We have called on the Government to freeze found in January that the cost of utilities had
together a panel of small businesses. Panel fuel duty to bring down businesses’ costs and, increased for over 80% of businesses in 2008.
members are surveyed every month on the in particular, to ease the tax burden borne by We are currently investigating the impact of
state of the economy and, in particular, the the transport industry. We would like to see a this problem on our members. We will use the
availability of finance to their businesses. (For reduction in corporation tax to 20%, bringing information to highlight rising business costs
the latest results, see page 2.) widespread relief to large and small businesses and to call for relief for small firms.
We shall continue to monitor the banks’ alike. We have also called for the proposed 5%
lending via the Panel, and communicate increase in business rates, scheduled for April, Other campaigns
our findings to business secretary, Lord to be scrapped. We are also campaigning against the
Mandelson, at meetings of the Small Business introduction of ‘Workplace Parking Levies’.
Finance Forum. Budget 2009 If introduced, local authorities will be able to
In the forthcoming Budget, we want the charge businesses for providing staff parking,
Access to finance Government to renegotiate its agreements which we believe is, in effect, a tax on employing
Referendum 186 in November 2008 also with the banks to ensure an improved flow people. Sign our petition at www.petitions.
focused on the key issue of access to finance. of lending to small firms. We are also putting number10.gov.uk/workplaceparking/
The results of the ballot showed that one-third forward measures to help small businesses and
of responding members had sought finance promote wider economic recovery.
in the final quarter of 2008 and almost half
Tell us how we can help
of these applications were either partially or Red tape
completely rejected by banks. We sent the Following the publication of a review of
It is important that you tell us about the
results of this survey to all MPs, Members of guidance for small firms, the Government issues affecting your business so we can
the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, is considering creating a ‘one stop shop’ for address them in our campaigning activities.
and were quoted in a debate on the economic advice on health and safety, and employment Call us on 01565 634467 or send an email
downturn that took place in Parliament on law. The FPB believes that expert support and to firstname.lastname@example.org
29 January. MPs also questioned the Prime information is already provided by the private
FPB in the media
We are maintaining a high media profile, including a recent slot on prime time TV
he FPB’s media work plays an Radio Five Live (Wake Up To Money and Simon For more information about opportunities
important part in the organisation’s Mayo), Radio Four (the Today Programme) for publicity, supporting our campaigns
lobbying activities. Bringing to the and BBC Radio Wales.
and the chance to have your say on the
public stage the key campaigns issues affecting In addition, our lobbying activities,
burning issues of the day in the media, call
small businesses continues to be a driving research-based analysis of business issues and
Phil McCabe on 01565 626019.
force behind our day-to-day activities. So far opinions continue to be sought by national,
this year, the highlight has been our inclusion local and sector-specific print media. Our news
in the BBC’s Panorama programme Credit and features regularly appear in both dailies
Where It’s Due, which explored the plight of and weekend national newspapers, from the
businesses hit by the recession yet unable to Mail on Sunday to the Financial Times.
access finance from the banks. Media across the UK regularly seek
Other television appearances included The comment from FPB representatives, but the
One Show, Working Lunch, BBC News and opinions of the small businesses we represent
Sky News. Radio coverage ranged from local are equally in demand.
to national stations and included the BBC’s
FPB Business insight 5
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