Opinion Former Article

FSB Cautious optimism heading into 2013

Cautious optimism heading into 2013
The Latest 'Voice of Small Business' Index shows small firms are displaying cautious optimism heading into the New Year and a greater level of confidence compared to the same time last year. Read the press release, view the infographic and coverage in City AM, on BBC and listen to National Policy Chairman, Mike Cherry talk to the Today Programme (16m 20s). We also held a breakfast with politicians in the House of Commons which was attended by 11 MPs and Peers, as well as a number of other interested organisations, including a senior representative from the British Bankers Association.

FSB welcomes first report from the Commission on Banking Standards
The Commission on Banking Standards has recommended that regulators are given more power to force retail and investment banking businesses to separate. The FSB supports the need for a ringfence between the retail and investment arms of banks, but has also said that trust and competition need to increase in the sector. Read the comment and coverage in the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail. The FSB also welcomed the two appointments to the business bank announced by the Business Secretary. Read the comment.

Inflation unchanged in November
The FSB said it is good news that inflation remained unchanged both for firms and consumers. It has warned however, that policymakers need to be vigilant to inflationary pressures that may be building. Our recent fourth-quarter survey of members reported that high global energy prices had put pressure on their bottom lines. Read the comment and coverage on This is Money.

Red tape reduced further, but more could be done
The FSB welcomed the Government's headway in reducing the burden of regulation on small firms. However, it warned that Real Time Information – one of the biggest changes to the payroll system in the last 60 years – is due to come into force in April and is not included. Read the comment and coverage in the Financial Times and City AM.

Energy Bill
During Second Reading debate of the Energy Bill, Mike Crockart MP raised the FSB’s concerns that under current proposals small businesses could face paying their energy supplier to access their energy consumption data.

Parliamentary update
Andrew Stunell MP mentioned both local and national FSB surveys in a debate he secured on access to finance, and quoted an FSB member from his constituency. During the Committee Stage of the Groceries Code Adjudicator, BIS Minister Jo Swinson MP mentioned our support for the amendment brought forward by the Government, which will give the Adjudicator the power to fine from its establishment.

First Voice needs you

Do you plan to take advantage of the increase in the tax-free amount you can invest in your business from 1 January 2013 or have you had a problem with late payment? First Voice, the FSB member magazine, would love to hear from you for the February/March edition. Take a look at the current issue and get in touch with your story.

Get Mentoring training comes to end and plans for 2013

Although the funded training is coming to an end, there's exciting plans ahead to bring together mentors with businesses in 2013 and aspiring mentors can still train for free online right through the Christmas period. If you're interested in mentoring read Mentoring Monthly's Christmas Special.

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