Small businesses preparing for Brexit are getting staunch support from a Westminster-based lobby group.

 

The Federation of Small Businesses has been flooded with enquiries about Brexit, said Matthew Jaffa.

“We are inundated with members telling us their concerns over Brexit,” said Mr Jaffa, the senior external affairs manager for London.

“We are trying to make the process as small business-friendly as we can,” he added.

With 8,500 members in the capital alone, the FSB is a powerful voice.

It represents businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

That makes up an incredible 99.3% of all private sector businesses in the country.

“Despite all the uncertainties surrounding Brexit, we want to show that London and the UK is open for business,” Mr Jaffa said.

“Our members are worried about the uncertainty of it all.

“When we surveyed them a while back there was a large majority who were not prepared for a no deal.

“And now they don’t know whether they’re coming or going,” he added.

The Brexit debate comes as the FSB marks its 45th anniversary this year.

It is campaigning for key infrastructure projects which it believes will help business after leaving the EU.

This includes Heathrow’s third runway and completion of the Crossrail project.

The FSB lobbies Parliament and councils to stand up for small businesses.

“We attempt to effect change to support their needs, because everyone needs a voice.

“They tell us what issues they have – business rates, freezing the VAT threshold, securing funding from government, Brexit – and we’re there to fight for their interests on their behalf,” Mr Jaffa said.

 

A powerful voice for small business

 

Open to micro and small businesses, the FSB offers a suite of benefits.

These include a free legal advice line that is open 24/7.

There is also tax investigation protection, health and safety advice and a range of events, including the Celebrating Small Business awards.

Crucially, the FSB acts as a single but powerful voice for small business.

“Big issues for us in the London office include campaigning for the reform of business rates, something that is extremely important for our members because of the high cost of being in business in London,” Mr Jaffa says.

Commercial property, particularly in Victoria and Westminster where it is so expensive, is another big issue.

“There is a mismatch between landlords and tenants and we are concerned with building a better relationship between them,” he added.

 

To find out more about the Federation of Small Businesses, read here.

To read the full story in Victoria magazine, click here.