Last month in All Things Business, FSBs elected Area Leader for Northants, Clare Elsby of Elsby & Co explained how and why she got involved in FSB and how joining simply for business support has taken her to Westminster and standing up for SMEs across the region with MPs, councils and more.
FSB would simply not be as influential as it is without its volunteers like Clare from right across the UK. FSB’s members are crucial to the policy and advocacy work, to events and to making the FSB the force that it is.
There has never been a better time to join the Federation of Small Businesses as we face a perfect storm of business issues on a local and national scale. Business rates, Brexit uncertainty, regulation and tax changes, and rising costs are causing havoc with small business owners as they face increasing pressure from all sides.
Now is also a great time to get more involved, as a recent restructure means that instead of joining local committees, members can get involved as much or as little as they like from taking part in surveys and supporting campaigns on social media, to attending MP roundtables and organising events.
The FSB was formed as a campaigning body in the 1970s as a result of proposed increases to National Insurance contributions which small business owners felt were unwise and unfair, and we have grown and continued to campaign on business issues to government and decision makers ever since.
The community is now 160,000 members, and the biggest business representation organisation in the UK. Taking part in the FSBs regular Big Voice survey means that the voice of one small business is combined with many thousands of others to achieve real change in government. Recent new legislation to tackle late payment was direct result of our combined voice making the case for change.
Of our 2,000+ members across Northants, most simply join FSB and use the free benefits which are included with your annual subs. These are designed to protect and bolster you to keep you doing the day job, and level the playing field between you and big business.
Benefits such as 24 hour legal support, employment protection, business banking, tax investigation protection and many more are all provided for free as part of membership, which starts at only £147 p/a (with a £30 joining fee).
We are inviting more members to get involved with FSB in upcoming opportunities to influence- from parking consultations to local government reform, skills forums to training events and roundtable discussions. You might like to volunteer to talk to young people about small business ownership, share your business rates case study to support a campaign ask, or shout your support from the rooftops on social media!
Volunteer representatives are provided with all the information and recommendations they need, and your feedback means we can share opportunities, issues and successes with other local members.
So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with me, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.