FSB rewards five local councils at our first awards
The FSB staged its first ever ‘Local Authority Awards’ event for councils from Gloucestershire and the West of England on Friday to recognise those who we believe have done the best to help local small businesses within their areas. The awards, presented at Gloucester Rugby Club, saw South Gloucestershire Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council, Forest of Dean District Council, Bristol City Council and Gloucester City Council all given trophies for their SME support. Bristol won the overall ‘Best Small Business Friendly Council’ award with South Gloucestershire claiming a Highly Commended. South Gloucestershire were also voted as the winners in the ‘Best Business Support Programme’ category with Gloucester claiming the Highly Commended. The Forest of Dean District won the ‘Most Innovative Small Business Campaign’ for setting up the Forest Economic Partnership while Tewkesbury were Highly Commended. Look out for the full story in the coming days on the local news page on the FSB website.
Female-led SMEs provide huge benefits
The FSB has published an important new report on the scale and growth of female-led SME businesses in the UK. Although still only 22 per cent of SMEs are majority women-owned, our research finds that businesses owned by women are now calculated to contribute £105bn GVA to the UK economy – that’s up around 40 per cent, an estimated £75bn, since 2012. These firms are also providing more jobs with employment in businesses owned by, or led by, women now accounting for an estimated 23.85 per cent of private sector employment in the UK. To read more of our findings see our FSB press team report.
Help spread the message to our award-deserving SMEs
Could we ask you all to remind the great local SME businesses that you come into contact with that the FSB’s 2019 South West awards – which offer a chance for local SMEs to win one of 11 regional (and possibly national) titles – close for nominations next week? The awards are aimed at showcasing the best small businesses from right across the UK and with entry being free (for our members and non-members alike) and a wide mixture of categories to choose from, local companies have nothing to lose by entering. The closing date is Friday 14 December, and if you could forward this to local firms they can visit www.fsbawards.co.uk to find out all they need to know. Thank you.
New FSB report shows less firms now applying for finance
The FSB has launched a new policy report outlining fresh measures to improve small business access to finance across the UK. Our Going for Growth report finds that only one in seven small firms is currently applying for external finance and the vast majority that do apply seek traditional bank loan or overdraft facilities without considering alternatives.
Supporting BBFA’s aim to make business easier
The FSB is a keen supporter of the council and Government backed Better Business For All (BBFA) initiative which is currently being successfully run in both the West of England and Gloucestershire. BBFA (see here) is designed to make it quicker and easier for businesses to deal with the ‘red tape’ around regulation and licencing and the FSB is pushing for it to be adopted nationally. We took part in a day-long training session for West of England council officers in Bath in November and also contribute to both local steering groups as we are keen to support any measure that makes life easier for businesses to do business.