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owners of small firms as possible to join the campaign. UK Handmade is one of our key supporters and has been active in promoting the campaign and helping us to lobby. To join and get involved visit: www. getbritaintrading.co.uk.


How important is it to buy British? There are many wonderful British businesses out there creating and selling their wares. If we want British businesses to survive and continue to contribute to our communities and economies then the Government must create a business environment in which they can flourish. It’s equally important that consumers become aware of which products are British to be able to make informed choices. We can all do our bit to help support small British businesses and buying British is one way to achieve this.


How is the economic downturn affecting small businesses? Consumers are currently thinking carefully about where and when they spend their money and small


24 | ukhandmade | Summer 2012


firms have to use their creativity to sell and market their products and services. Despite tough trading conditions and increasing costs our members remain positive and are focussing on developing their businesses with 55% expecting to see growth or strong growth in 2012.


Do you have any tips for anyone thinking of starting a new business? There are lots of opportunities for starting a new business when economic conditions are tough. There may be gaps in the market or changes in consumer behaviour that you can take advantage of. The most important things are to do your research, work on your business plan and ask for help if you need it. It’s also vital to make useful contacts and seek advice if you need to develop particular skills. We’re backing the Get Mentoring scheme which puts businesses that need support in touch with experienced business professionals who can provide support, advice and coaching.


UK Handmade supports a hidden economy of creatives who are trying to sell their handmade products, do the same rules apply do you think? The same general rules apply to any business. You may feel your business is too small to have a business plan but if you’ve been doing something as a hobby for a while and have decided to take the plunge and spend more time developing it into a business, taking a step back and thinking about the bigger picture can often help to give clarity and is great for keeping you on the right track.


What are the goals for FPB in the next few years? Over the next few years our goal is to continue to provide quality support and advice to our members and save them time and money. In addition to this, via our lobbying, we are aiming to achieve improved


business


conditions for small firms in order to Get Britain Trading. We continue to review our member support package


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