March 2018 Bulletin: Federation of Small Businesses

Issue 11 for March 2018 (issued March 7, 2018)

FSB local team to meet MPs in Parliament

A small group of FSB members from across this area will be heading to Parliament later this month to meet MPs from across Gloucestershire and the West of England to discuss issues affecting our members. Richard Graham, the MP for Gloucester, has sponsored the visit and it is hoped a number of his fellow Parliamentarians will join us with several, including Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Cotswolds), Chris Skidmore (Kingswood), David Drew (Stroud), Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury) and Karin Smyth (Bristol South), already confirming their attendance. We look forward to an engaging discussion.       


Highlighting our great female SME owners

The FSB will be highlighting the fantastic work done by female small business owners in this area (and beyond) on International Women’s Day, which takes place on Thursday (March 8). The FSB has a ‘100 FSB Women’ campaign currently running and, on Thursday, we will spotlight online 100 ‘role models’ to try to help increase the visibility of female SME owners and increase the number of women-led enterprises in the UK. Among those local people featured in the campaign are Angela MacAusland from Bath who runs AM PM PA Limited. To see the FSB Women campaign hub visit this page and to if you wish to see our 2016 report ‘Women in Enterprise’ (the untapped potential) you can read the full report here.        


FSB launch timely data/GDPR report    
With interest growing among our local members about the effect GDPR may have on their businesses, the FSB has just launched a new #FSBeDataReady campaign alongside an important new report. The initiative is aimed at raising small business awareness of new rules around information handling that will be ushered in by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation from May 25. The new FSB report finds that over a third of small businesses have not started preparing for the introduction of the GDPR – while a further third are only in the early stages of preparations.  You can read the full  BeDataReady report here.

Keeping apprenticeships on the SME radar

With National Apprenticeship Week in full flow, the FSB continues to raise awareness of the opportunities offered to small businesses by the apprenticeship programme. Last week we supported a very successful event on apprenticeship/training along with the new Gloucestershire University-backed GOAL organisation and other partners and we have also thrown our support behind an initiative run by Weston College who are currently in the middle of their own ‘200 apprenticeships in 100 days’ campaign to try and place 200 of their keen trainees with local companies. To find out more about that campaign see here and for more on National Apprenticeship Week visit here .


FSB South West awards highlight strength of regional businesses    
The highly-successful final of the FSB’s South West Awards took place at the end of February and, as well as highlighting the amazing array of South West SMEs, it was also great to see three companies from this area scoop top awards. Limitless Ltd, from Frome, grabbed the Business and Product Innovation award, Pitchmark Limited, from South Gloucestershire, won the Business Exporter Of The Year award and SmartSurvey Ltd, of Tewkesbury, were crowned as Digital Business of the Year. Many congratulations to all our winners and all our other local firms from this area who were Highly Commended on the day for their efforts (including firms from Bristol, Cheltenham and Portishead). Our thanks also to local sponsors including Nailsea-based water2business and Gloucestershire’s SmartSurvey. For the full list of winners and, indeed, more South West FSB news see our new FSB Regional Voice homepage here.


Thank you for reading…