Apart from providing a comprehensive and cost effective range of member services, support and advice, FSB works hard to ensure that members can participate in the debates that help to inform and shape policies that might affect them in the future.
That’s why we have proactively engaged with the leaders of all our local authorities – for example setting out our priorities on how the extra money they have been given by Government for discretionary rates relief should be allocated. We are continuing to have senior-level meetings with local authority leaders and heads of functions to discuss this and other issues that are of particular concern to local small business.
We also ensured that, in the run up to the General Election, all of the prospective parliamentary candidates from the main parties received a copy of ‘Small Business, Big Ambition’ – FSB’s own manifesto to spark economic growth and employment. We received very positive feedback across the political spectrum with regards to our manifesto’s five priority themes and 30 plus detailed ‘asks’ of the new Government. In addition, we worked with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce to host a very successful Herefordshire Hustings where around 40 delegates heard from, and asked questions of, the parliamentary candidates from the main political parties who stood for election in the County’s two parliamentary constituencies. All who attended – both candidates and those in the audience, provided positive feedback about the event – particularly the range of topics debated and the effective way in which FSB’s Herefordshire branch Chairman Richard Asghar-Sandys ensured questions were succinct and answers were relevant!
Even at our networking events we regularly feature influential guest speakers such as local MPs and leaders of local councils.
Through these types of activities, we are helping to ensure that small businesses have a big say on the challenges and opportunities they faces.