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View From The Chair

john frielAs this issue of The Voice hits your desk, we are all likely to be realising the implications of the new political climate in which we live, following the June Westminster Elections. Many will have watched debates and discussions on the formation of a UK Government. But we, in FSB, won’t just be watching: we will be continuing to inform, influence and intervene where necessary to ensure the interests of small businesses in Northern Ireland and beyond are prioritised throughout. 

Our Manifesto called for action in a range of areas including National Insurance and business rates reform; protecting the self-employed from unfair tax hikes; tackling the late payment culture in big businesses that is so detrimental to their small business suppliers; improving planning services; enhancing broadband provision; addressing the skills shortage; and reducing bureaucracy and red tape. We need the Government to provide certainty at this time of deep concern for those of us who will be impacted most directly from the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, and to create the right conditions for small businesses to survive and thrive to strengthen the economy

As Regional Chair, I will be working to ensure that the voice of your business is amplified at every level of government, in Councils, the Assembly, Westminster and beyond. I encourage you all, in turn, to engage fully in our survey panel work, to ensure that whatever happens next, government at every level will work to support you to achieve your ambitions in business.