July 2018 Bulletin – Federation of Small Businesses


Issue 15 for July 2018 (issued July 5 2018)

 FSB launches new campaign for self-employed

The FSB launched a new campaign on Monday to celebrate and enhance the position of the 4.8m people in the UK who are classed as self-employed. The ‘Think Self-Employed: Supporting the 4.8 million to climb higher’ campaign was officially launched at the FSB Chairman’s Summer Reception in Parliament after a day where hundreds of our self-employed members posted ‘self-employed selfies’ on social media to show support. On Monday we also released our ‘Campaign Agenda’ for action, identifying a range of measures that we believe Government and policymakers should take to make life easier for the nation’s self-employed. To see our aims for the campaign go to our Think Self-Employed Agenda.

Surprise downturn in South West SME confidence

Confidence among small businesses in the South West has taken a surprise downward turn, according to our latest quarterly survey of members. While the rest of the country showed rising confidence figures, the South West bucked the trend and recorded the lowest levels of confidence in the UK.  The survey showed that almost a third of small businesses in the South West expect their performance to worsen in the coming months. On the positive side, the proportion of South West small firms saying that gross profits are steady or increasing is at 56% and growth intentions and recruitment plans also look promising in the region.  For a full copy of the national report click  FSB Small Confidence Report

Procurement event planned for this month   

The FSB has joined forces with the Growth Hub in Gloucester to stage an event aimed at showing how our members and other SMEs can improve their chances of winning in the procurement battle and can successfully sell their goods and services to public and private bodies. The mid-morning seminar is on Monday, July 23, from 10am-noon and anyone wishing to find out more and register for a free place can visit this Eventbrite page.

FSB express concerns at further fall in ATMs

The FSB has described new research from Which? indicating that 1,500 cash machines closed in the five months to April 2018 as potentially very damaging to small businesses. FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “Coupled with more than 2,000 bank branch closures over the past three years, this fresh attack on free access to cash is hurting high streets all over the country. Often these ATM closures are happening in areas where the majority of small business customers pay in cash, damaging local economies in the process”. FSB research shows that six in ten of our retailers say cashpoints are important to the success of their firm and Mr Cherry has now called on the Payment Systems Regulator to “step-in before even more damage is done.”

FSB working on health and wellbeing event for SMEs  

The FSB launched a wellness in small business campaign last year to highlight the issues faced by many small business owners and the self-employed in terms of their physical and mental health as a result of their work. As part of the campaign we are now arranging an event in Bath in September along with Bath and North East Somerset Council and Mind to provide support and advice for employers and employees about how to ensure they can improve their wellbeing in the workplace. To find out more about the campaign visit the FSB wellbeing hub.