FSB

Scrapping Cheques will be Expensive, Warn Business Groups

Plans to scrap cheque payments could be expensive for small firms, business groups have warned, as business owners will be forced to buy chip and pin card machines as replacements. Last year, the UK Payments Council announced plans to abolish cheque guarantee cards by June 2011, and cheques are due to be completely phased out by October 2018. The changes mean businesses will be forced to consider alternative payment systems such as chip and pin. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned that costs of such systems could be high. On average, chip and pin card readers cost around £30 a month to rent from banks, with additional charges per transaction. This means businesses could incur additional overheads of hundreds of pounds a year. “Getting rid of cheques and cheque g... »

Digital Economy Bill Pushed Through Despite Opposition

The Digital Economy Bill must be amended before it becomes law or it will be costly for small firms, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned. The controversial Bill was widely expected to be delayed until after the election on May 6, but has been pushed through the House of Commons by the Government and is now due to pass to the House of Lords for final approval. However, it will still face further scrutiny by the next Parliament before it is enacted. There will be also be an extended period of public consultation. Much of the Bill, which aims to protect copyright and tackle illegal file-sharing, will not directly affect small businesses. But relevant new measures include tougher penalties for those that infringe copyright by copying content from another website or downloading ... »

Business Groups Welcome Chancellor’s Tax Relief for SMEs

Business Groups Welcome Chancellor’s Tax Relief for SMEs

Business groups have welcomed tax relief schemes announced in the Budget to help small firms, saying that the Chancellor has finally recognised the need to put small business at the heart of economic policy. However, they expressed continuing concerns about the UK’s Budget deficit and its impact on business activity. “After two years of economic downturn, the Chancellor has clearly recognised the need to place business at the heart of the Budget,” said British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) director general, David Frost. “Doubling the annual investment allowance, help with business rates, and allowing entrepreneurs to keep more of their gains will prove especially popular.” “However, the Chancellor could have done more to set out a clear plan for the reducti... »

FSB wants NI and VAT Freeze

FSB wants NI and VAT Freeze

Freezing National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and suspending VAT increases must be priorities for the next Government to help small firms out of the recession, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said. Launching its 2010 manifesto (149k PDF) to coincide with the run-up to the general election, the FSB has made several recommendations which it says will help small firms create jobs, get access to finance, innovate and set up new businesses. One of the key proposals is a shake-up of the current payroll tax regime, including a freeze on NICs and a rebate for firms taking on new staff over the next two years. “Two critical areas for small firms are job creation and broadening access to finance,” said an FSB spokesperson. “Small businesses hold the key to tackling ... »

Challenge: Diversity & Equality in Small Business

ACCA and the FSB host discussion on SMEs and the Equality Bill. Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) will need to be increasingly mindful of equality and diversity issues long after the controversy over the Equality Bill has died down, according to a panel of experts from academia, business and politics. The experts gathered at a debate called Equality and Diversity in the SME sector: after the bill, organised by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and the Federation of Small Business (FSB). »

SMEs to Benefit from Graduate Talent

The Government has joined forces with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to offer up to 10,000 graduates a boost to their future employability, through internships in small and micro businesses announced the Prime Minister Gordon Brown today. The Prime Minister said: “Our guarantee to all young people is that with millions of new opportunities from apprenticeships to internships to a new class of modern technicians, we will discover, coach, develop and showcase the wealth of aspiration and talent that exists in Britain. “To add to the 100, 000 new young people’s jobs we are already creating, we can today offer in partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses, 10,000 skilled internships so that, even in the midst of tough economic times, we are encouraging a wh... »

Post Offices Should Become Small Business Hubs

Post Offices Should Become Small Business Hubs

Struggling post offices around the UK should be transformed into small business hubs to safeguard their future, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which is urging the Government to support the move. Research from the FSB has found that 47 per cent of small firms use the Post Office at least twice a week, but that firms are not getting the local business support they would like to have. In the absence of business support in every community, FSB national chairman, John Wright, said that by becoming business hubs — through offering advice on banking, Government services and insurance, as well as access to dedicated Business Link advisers, Internet access and meeting room facilities for start-ups — the Post Office network would have a chance to become financiall... »

Fuel Duty Rise will Slow Down Recovery for Small Firms

Fuel Duty Rise will Slow Down Recovery for Small Firms

The latest 2p increase in fuel duty will hit small firms hard, and is likely to impact on economic recovery, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned. The rise is the third increase in nine months, and brings the average price of petrol across the UK to around 105 pence a litre. Calling the fuel price increase an unwelcome overhead at “a very difficult time”, the FSB warned that it would set back business recovery for many firms. “High fuel prices cause difficulties in every part of the economy, but small businesses that are dependent on cars, those who travel to their customers, or whose business is in haulage or logistics, are hit particularly hard,” said John Wright, National Chairman Federation of Small Businesses. “Rises in fuel duty could have... »

Banks Gaining Monopoly on Lending, Warns FSB

Banks Gaining Monopoly on Lending, Warns FSB

High street banks could soon have a monopoly over lending to small businesses, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned. The business lobby group is concerned that recapitalisation, bank mergers and initiatives targeted at stimulating bank lending are stifling competition and choice for firms seeking finance.  “Business owners who are refused finance with a major lender have few alternative ways to secure credit,” said an FSB spokesman. “We want to see more alternative sources of finance provided locally, such as through post offices, financial intermediaries and Regional Development Agencies. “Struggling banks should not be sold off to other high street lenders, as this would create massive institutions which would curb competition,” he added.... »

Postal Strikes will Lose Small Firms Customers

Postal Strikes will Lose Small Firms Customers

Postal workers must reach a rapid agreement with Royal Mail to end strike action across the UK, as the strikes may cause small firms to lose customers, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned. Thousands of postal workers have gone on strike across the UK, after disagreements over the modernisation of the postal service, including job cuts and a reduction in services. FSB spokeswoman, Prue Watson, warned that the strikes could cause lasting damage to small businesses, many of which rely on Royal Mail’s postal services to deliver supplies and invoice customers. “Small firms are at risk of losing customers due to the postal strikes, because they won’t be able to deliver what their customers need in time,” she said. “In addition, as cashflow and late p... »

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