Issue 5 September 2017
FSB calls for more procurement for SMEs
The FSB has just produced a timely new report aimed at encouraging the public sector to procure more of their goods and services from local SMEs. It is estimated that over the last 12 months, SMEs won just 19 per cent of directly-awarded public sector contracts by value – a far cry from the Government’s ambition to make it 33 per cent by 2020. Our report offers some recommendations that could help the situation and offers an insight into SME thinking on the subject. A copy of the report is available by emailing Sam Holliday.
Joining forces to make regulation/red tape easier
FSB members in Bristol, Weston-super-Mare, Bath and South Gloucestershire have been invited to take part in an important online survey on red tape and local regulation. The FSB has joined forces with the four councils in the West of England and the region’s Growth Hub to be part of the ‘Better Business for All’ partnership which aims to try to save businesses time and money, and make it quicker and easier to comply with the law on issues such as trading standards, environmental health, animal health, licensing, planning and fire and community safety. The survey to find out what West of England businesses want in this regard is here.
National Living Wage creates issues for some business owners
The majority of small firms impacted by the National Living Wage (NLW) have stretched to meet the latest rise by taking lower profits, according to research we released in August. Our survey found that two in five small businesses affected by the NLW had put up prices to cope with the latest increase and nearly a quarter (24%) say they had cancelled or scaled down their investment plans. Our National Chairman Mike Cherry said it is “vital” the NLW is set at a level that the economy can afford, without job losses or harming job creation.
FSB encouraging agritech innovation
The FSB’s Cotswold team have joined forces with the Royal Agricultural College to showcase a new facility for businesses in the agritech sector. Agritech is the use of technology in agriculture, horticulture, and aquaculture and a new workshop called Farm491 has opened in Harnhill near Cirencester to help entrepreneurs and start-ups. Our free networking evening at the centre takes place on Thursday, September 29, and anyone who wants to attend can do so via this link.
On show at a number of business shows/events
The FSB is always keen to support and take part in local business shows to show our commitment to SMEs throughout the region. In the coming weeks it is hoped that FSB representatives will be at the Cheltenham Connect event at the end of September and then, during October, the first two-day South Gloucestershire Business Show at the Bristol and Bath Science Park, the Bristol Showcase South West in Ashton Gate and the Bath City Conference. Please let us know if there are other business shows you feel we would benefit from attending.
*FSB send this short ‘Brief’ out every month but, if you wish to find out what is happening with FSB locally please see our weekly email newsletter, Bitesize, which is available online on a Thursday here. This page also includes a calendar of our future local events throughout Gloucestershire, Bath, Bristol, Weston-super-Mare and South Gloucestershire. You can also follow us on Twitter at @FSBGlosandWoE and see what our national policy team is working on by following their feed which is @FSB_Policy.