Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) please change tactics

FSBFor the last 10 years I have been working for a small business which has grown over that period and from time to time we have been successful at winning significant contracts for various parts of the public sector such as local government, police, NHS, schools and universities. Our decisions regarding how to network and how to make connections is sometimes good and sometimes not so good and it can take some time to work out what works best. In the decade we have increased the number of jobs provided from six full time roles to twelve and we have more than doubled our turnover. This has meant we have grown from a micro enterprise to a small business which are both part of the SME sector. As part of our networking tactics we are members of two Chambers of Commerce and also two national Institutions along with other networks. The idea of joining any more bodies seems inconceivable unless there is a clear indication that we will get a significant return for the costs, or that a new one is going to be more effective than one of the existing ones. For that reason we have never seriously considered joining the FSB or for that matter the IOD, CBI, etc. Over the last few days the FSB has been publicising how it is celebrating its 45th anniversary and that is of course a good thing to promote. However what seemed odd was that it held its celebration at the Palace of Westminster. After all the Government in my view is completely incapable of supporting small businesses. When it comes to their own procurement they claim to support SMEs yet it is the medium size businesses that get all of their trade and they constantly focus on persuading charities as well as businesses to scale up to be much larger so that the Government can engage with them in an easier way. The Government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy two years ago and promised to offer a meaningful Non Levy Apprenticeship provision for small businesses and so far have done nothing to achieve that. When it comes to the reconstruction and refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament, it is large companies that are winning the contracts not the small ones. Surely if FSB are going to celebrate their anniversary, they should do the very opposite of doing so in the very place that fails to understand or support small businesses. Indeed whilst London does include a large number of SMEs, it has far less in proportionate terms to some other parts of the country. Perhaps holding celebrations in areas such as Sussex and Kent would be a way of raising the value of SMEs and SBs and doing so in premises that relate to the people who prefer to work with small and micro enterprises would be more honourable than doing so in the Palace of Westminster!

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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