Having been a long running member of FSB, in January of this year I was made Regional Chair for FSB in Northern Ireland…and what an interesting and busy six months that has been.
From political engagement and lobbying alongside our policy team to meeting and hearing about the issues and successes of our members – there are never two weeks the same! (Much like the experience of any small business).
This is a time of great uncertainty for the business community, without answers on Brexit and the absence of a working executive, SMEs of NI have tended to follow a “get on with it” approach – but it is not easy. We are hearing more and more stories of small businesses facing severe pressures and a reluctance to expand, innovate and invest while the turbulence continues.
So what can FSB do to proactive help? Firstly, we endeavour to remain the collective voice on issues impacting the ability of SMEs to operate their businesses, we can also campaign through the media and through the political representatives to ensure that the voice of the small business is heard. We can continue to offer our members access to top quality benefits such as FSB Insurance, the Legal & Employment Helplines, Business Banking etc.
Eight weeks from now, on the 27th of September, we want to offer our members in NI the opportunity to attend a free, support event in the Dungannon area where they can meet other members to network and exchange ideas or explore partnerships. Members will also have access to a number of business support services and will be able to attend short workshops and seminars on topics that relate to their interests. We would like members to suggest the topics for the workshops, to ensure that the event is completely tailored to the needs of our members.
The event also presents the opportunity for up to ten FSB members to host stands promoting their goods or products by completing the proposal form.
We really look forward to hearing your suggestions for the workshops and proposals to be one of the members showcased at the event (closing dates for both August 8, 2018).
Regional Chairperson, NI