Following this week's announcements by the Government and the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England, I think it is important to write and tell you what the FSB is doing to represent and protect you in these exceptional economic circumstances.
As I am sure you are aware, a great many small businesses now face the dual problem of diminishing access to affordable finance and an increase in payment terms. This all comes at a time when business costs are rising and consumer demand is falling.
The FSB has already campaigned successfully for a cut in interest rates and for Government to improve its own record on payment times. Base rates have fallen from 5 per cent to 4.5 per cent and the Government is committed to settling on its bills within 10 days. In addition, we have named and shamed in the national media big businesses that are extending their payment terms and failing to pay up on time.
Our Policy Department is lobbying hard to ensure that yesterday's announcement by the Government, making available £50 billion to the UK's top eight banks, is coupled with reassurances from these very same banks that they will extend loans to small business on a normal financial basis. In addition, the FSB is campaigning across a range of issues to ease overheads for members.
Finally, I would draw your attention to the benefits of FSB membership, including free banking, overdraft facilities that are fee-free and business loans from £2,000 to £25,000 through FSB Business Banking.
I would like to assure you that the FSB is working to achieve the best possible deal for its members in these uncertain times.
Honorary National Chairman
Federation of Small Businesses
This is an email I received today.... I hope it is of interest to the businesses in and around Market Harborough.