Realising the Potential of Small Businesses - Federation of Small ...

FSB research indicates that the number one priority for the SME sector within the ..... £800 more than elsewhere in Europe, and £550 more than the. UK average.
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Realising the Potential of Small Businesses

FSB Manifesto Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2016

FSB The FSB has grown since our founding in 1974 into the UK’s leading business organisation. Our mission is to create the best environment for businesses to start up and thrive; our success will drive the economy and create jobs. We are member-led, so that we authoritatively protect and champion the interests of our members and the entire small business sector. We represent every industry sector of the economy, with nearly 200,000 members across the UK. In Northern Ireland, our 7,000 members comprise owners of SMEs and micro businesses, as well as selfemployed people, with many of them owning multiple enterprises. Proud of our independence, we ensure the voice of small business is heard by decision-makers at every level of Government – from local council right through to Brussels. We support our members directly through the provision of a range of market-leading benefits and advisory services including employment law, taxation and finance. We also lobby to change policy to improve the operating environment for small businesses, resisting bureaucracy and proposing practical solutions to the problems they face.

The FSB Northern Ireland Small Business Manifesto This Manifesto is aimed at policymakers of all political parties. It has at its foundation the recently published report, commissioned by the FSB from the Ulster University Business School’s SME Centre, The Contribution of Small Businesses to Northern Ireland (hereinafter referred to as The UU Contribution Report) That report provides the most authoritative evaluation to date of the role that small businesses play in both the economy and wider society in Northern Ireland. It clearly demonstrates that SMEs are absolutely central to employment and well-being – employing more people than large businesses and the entire public sector combined. Given these findings, it is essential that the next Programme for Government prioritises small business in its policymaking, due to the proven ability of this sector to create the employment and wealth that is required to transform and rebalance the Northern Ireland economy. The Northern Ireland Executive needs to place small business firmly at the heart of all of its plans, using its powers to remove barriers rather than adding to them. This Manifesto sets out the key issues that FSB members in Northern Ireland have identified as concerns, together with a range of practical policy proposals to enable politicians to respond and improve the environment in which this vital sector of our economy operates.


FSB 2016 Manifesto As experts in business, the FSB offers our members a wide range of vital business services, including advice, financial expertise, support, and a powerful voice in government. Our sole aim is to help small businesses to achieve their ambitions. This support is vital because the SME sector provides employment across the entire region; it makes a substantial contribution to social cohesion; and creates wealth for the local economy in the form of wages, business rates, and the purchase of goods and services from other indigenous suppliers. We also survey our members regularly to identify the issues that are causing them concern, so that we can develop policy solutions on which we then lobby to effect change. This Manifesto sets out the actions that FSB members want to see the next Northern Ireland Executive take to support the 120,000 small businesses that make up over 99% of the local private sector. The Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive can take positive steps to deliver economic growth and employment opportunities, rebalance the public and private sectors, and make Northern Ireland a better place to do business. SMEs, micro businesses and the self-employed have never been more important to the Northern Ireland economy, as the focus on rebalancing continues to restrict expectations of public expenditure. Northern Ireland has the highest con