August 2018 Bulletin – Federation of Small Businesses


Issue 16 for August 2018 (issued August 7 2018)


Event shows importance of procurement to SMEs   

The important issue of how FSB members and other small business owners can improve their chances of winning procurement contracts was the subject of a well-attended event run by the FSB team in Gloucester. Many small business owners say they struggle to win contracts against their big business rivals despite offering great local products and providing local jobs so we arranged an event with the Gloucestershire Growth Hub, to try and give hints and tips about how to can increase the SME ‘success rate’. The event was addressed by three great speakers – Gloucestershire County Council’s Ian Mawdsley, the University of Gloucestershire’s Robin Hare and FSB member and local procurement expert Dave Bass.


FSB calls for repeal of unfair ‘AirCon Tax’ charge   

As Britain bakes in one of the most prolonged heatwaves in recent history, the FSB is calling on the Government to repeal a tax which hits businesses who have installed air-conditioning units. Currently the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) says that having these units adds value to properties, meaning small businesses face higher business rates bills when they put them in place to help their staff and customers. FSB has called for the so-called ‘Aircon Tax’ to be scrapped. You can read our press release here.


Great response to FSB’s Bath health and wellbeing event 

The proof that SME owners need help and support to manage the stress, health and well-being of their employees – and of themselves – has been shown by an excellent take-up for an event we are running in Bath next month. We have teamed up with Bath and North East Somerset Council’s public health and business growth teams and the Bath branch of Mind to stage a mid-morning seminar at Bath Racecourse designed to support anyone who runs a company, manages people or is a sole trader who needs support. The free event looks set to be a sell out so anyone interested in attending should visit here as soon as possible. The FSB’s dedicated online wellbeing hub can be found here.

FSB responds to Brexit White Paper

The FSB broadly welcomed the recent White Paper from the Government outlining its position for a future relationship with Europe. However, with the deadline looming until Britain exits the EU, the FSB say more details are needed to reassure small businesses over how the future trading arrangements will affect them. You can see our press release on the issue here.

Forest of Dean new partnership idea is working well  

The FSB has been actively supporting some exciting work being done by the new Forest Economic Partnership (FEP) which is designed to pool ideas and make recommendations about business plans in the Forest of Dean. The partnership is made up of business owners and a myriad of business and community organisations plus representatives from local councils, the LEP and other public bodies. The latest quarterly meeting of FEP took place on Monday where a large audience heard reports back from four sector-groups: Education and Skills, Transport and Infrastructure, Bridges and  Borders and Digital Connectivity. The FSB is always keen to engage in these helpful and positive business-led groupings with public sector partners. For more on FEP see this link.