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Liverpool City Region Business

By Michael Sandys, FSB Merseyside and Cheshire Area Leader

In February I attended FSB’s Field Staff and Member Conference in London. It was fantastic to meet Area Leaders from the length and breadth of the country, including many new faces as well as some familiar ones.

It was also great to engage with FSB staff and hear about FSB’s plans going forward, with encouraging words from National Chairman, Mike Cherry, among others. I think all who attended would agree it was a useful introduction to FSB, and the future of the organisation looks bright. 
 
A highlight of the year so far has to be the visit of the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, to Liverpool’s Sensor City, where we took part in a round table on tech start-ups. Brexit is looming large but there is encouragement to be found in the Government’s plans to make the UK the world’s most innovation-friendly regulatory environment after the UK leaves the EU.

We had the first Area meeting of the year in January and are planning several events for the near future – one being ‘Meet FSB at Lunyalita’ from 5.30pm on March 6th. I would like to personally invite local FSB members and other business owners along to come along to the restaurant, based at the stunning Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool, to network and enjoy some tapas and a free drink. To keep you entertained, there will be a presentation on FSB insurance Services and another on FSB lobbying and campaigns.

Our work on this front continues to keep us busy. Whether it is local lobbying, including seeking a way to ease the impact of the new Mersey Gateway Bridge tolls on businesses, participating in Liverpool City Region Skills Commission, on the strategic board of the Enterprise Hub, as part of business groups in Liverpool and Cheshire or localising FSB’s national business in the community and late payment campaigns, FSB gives us a voice and platform with which to address some of the key issues faced by small businesses.

In Liverpool City Region there are some changes afoot that will directly affect small firms, such as the development of the LEP Growth Hub. We will be right there to ensure our members receive the support they need, striving to make this region second to none in which to start and grow a business.