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East Sussex PAGE 2

East Sussex PAGE 2 CHAIRMAN’S VOICE Dear Member, FSB’s Small Business Index found confidence has continued to fall, dipping into negative territory for the first time since 2012. Despite this, FSB found many positive signs of resilience as small business gets on with the job in hand in spite of a fragile economic outlook. The share of small businesses aspiring to grow over the next 12 months ticked up in quarter three, now at 55 per cent, the highest level since the end of 2015. Small businesses continue to take on new staff, with seven per cent of small firms reporting increasing headcount. Small exporters’ performance has also improved, backed by the weakness in sterling.This trend is set to continue, a ‘must’ in post-Brexit Britain. Key wins in the Chancellor’s Autumn statement committed £1.1b for the upgrade and maintenance of roads outside the Strategic Road Network and £1b for digital connectivity. We will work with our National Policy team to ensure East Sussex gets its fair share of this funding. In Voice you will see ambitious plans for 2017, supporting members and the wider SME community. Why not make it a New Year resolution to get involved? @ FSBEastSussex www.fsb.org.uk/ east-sussex Darran Hathaway, Regional Chairman, East Sussex DARRAN HATHAWAY VOICE EDITORIAL: This publication is produced by and published for the Federation of Small Businesses, Sir Frank Whittle Way, Blackpool Business Park Blackpool, Lancs, FY4 2FE. © Copyright 1996 Federation of Small Businesses all rights reserved. Editor: James Connor. Tel: 01253 361179 Email: james.connor@fsb.org.uk. Whilst every care has been taken in the compilation of this publication errors or omissions are not the responsibility of the Federation of Small Businesses and opinions expressed are those of the authors and are not necessarily the policy of the Federation. FSB SUPPORTS YOUNG ENTERPRISE FSB supports its Charity partner Young Enterprise across East Sussex. Kerry Byott of the 1066 Branch recently presented a cheque to East Sussex YE manager, Wendy Gorham, to support local activities (pictured). Martin Searle recently helped with a Masterclass to help school companies FSB GETS TOGETHER TO SET UP THE NEW YEAR FSB held its Annual employment and General Meetings to enterprise. Nicolae review the year and Trofin, newlybegin planning for elected Chairman, 2017. said: “it has been The 1066 Country a great year of Branch (pictured with achievement for the keynote speaker, Branch. Alongside Clive Collins, 1066 THE 1066 BRANCH TEAM FSB networking Business Personality breakfasts, 2017 of 2016, front) looked will include events back on a year that aimed at maximizing has seen the team value from FSB headline sponsor member benefits.” the 1066 business At Sussex Downs THE EASTBOURNE, WEALDEN awards, hold College, members AND LEWES BRANCH TEAM monthly networking of the Eastbourne, breakfasts across Wealden and Lewes the area and attract over 50 businesses Branch heard that the Branch supported to an “I is for Inspiration” event supporting Small Business Saturday in Eastbourne, young entrepreneurs. alongside Caroline Ansell MP, held a The Branch continued a regular regular FSB networking breakfast and two dialogue with Hastings Borough and breakfasts with Wealden District Council Rother District Councils. on tendering for public contracts and A first joint breakfast with Rother DC protecting against cybercrime. attracted a large business audience to The branch also held an “I is for highlight and celebrate the growing arts Inspiration” event in support of young and culture sector. entrepreneurs and backed Young Working with Amber Rudd, MP for Enterprise through running a business Hastings and Rye, and Huw Merriman, Masterclass and sponsorship of the Best MP for Bexhill and Battle, FSB supported Company at the Eastbourne and Wealden Careers fairs to help young people into finals. FSB attended the East Sussex Best for Biz conference at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill. It addressed The Future of Work, with UK Digital Personality of the Year, Allister Frost, as keynote speaker presenting upon the challenges of digital marketing. Seminars included exporting, cyber protection, and using social media. THE VOICE run their stands at the YE Trade Fairs. Colin Slaughter said: “We urge members to support Young Enterprise by coming to a YE trade fair or two.” Dates of YE Trade fairs are 4 February, Arndale Centre, Eastbourne; 5 February: Holmbush Shopping Centre, Shoreham; 11 March, Priory Meadow, Hastings.s WENDY GORHAM (RIGHT) RECEIVES A CHEQUE FROM KERRY BYOTT OF THE FSB 1066 COUNTRY BRANCH EAST SUSSEX EVENT IS BEST FOR BIZ CLIVE SOPER (LEFT) WITH HUW MERRIMAN MP FOR BEXHILL AND BATTLE AT THE CONFERENCE www.fsb.org.uk

East Sussex MEMBER PROFILE: STEPHEN MARSHALL IS AIMING TO HIGHLIGHT MAJOR ISSUES FSB Member and business activist, Steve Marshall (pictured), works in a self-employed capacity running SMS Business Services which helps businesses in Sussex save money on utilities, merchant services, LED lighting (working with Led-UK) and renewable energy. FSB is lobbying Government for a new legal definition of selfemployment, currently, demanding greater parity with the employed, in terms of support. Steve picks up his business story. and said: “Before starting my own business I had a successful career in automotive sales. When the business restructured, selling to a national company, I saw an opportunity for a change of direction. “I wanted to use the skills that I have obtained, particularly in customer service and business development, to build something for myself. And it has been an exciting journey so far. Recent developments in business grants for LED lighting, via Green Growth Platform, A transformational online service, FSB Business Profiling, has been developed by a Nottingham technology company and it could change the way customers view your business. Olly Betts, CEO, explained: “Before doing business with you everyone can look up information about your business online and make judgements about it. “FSB Business Profiling enables businesses to take control of their digital profile, from managing their credit score to delivering a welldesigned website which presents a professional face and scores well in online rankings. Recent research from Lloyds shows that businesses that have embraced digital potential and fully understand their has seen this area of the business take off.” Steve indicated he was pleased the FSB is taking up the case for the self-employed. He added: “Whilst we have flexibility and freedom to build something for ourselves, more security would be welcome, especially around cover for sickness. No one wants to create risks having to work when ill. This cover would prevent putting the public in any potential danger.” Steve is seen regularly at business events and added: “With FSB, I find the networking events and meetings very enjoyable – business-like and relaxed. This gives me an opportunity to talk with other business owners and not feel isolated. By joining the FSB Eastbourne, Wealden and Lewes team I hope I will be able to relay their concerns on local issues to the right place at Council, MP and national Government levels, especially where energy efficiency and transport links are concerned. Also I plan to let people know what the FSB is doing for them.” STEPHEN MARSHALL SERVICE GEARED TO HELPING FSB MEMBERS GET A HANDLE ON THEIR DIGITAL PROFILE FSB PUTS THE BUSINESS PROFILING TOOL THROUGH ITS PACES online reputation are twice as likely to report an increase in turnover.” FSB member, Balance Wealth Planning, has been using FSB Business Profiling and Managing Director Rebecca Aldridge commented: “As a business that finds the majority of its new clients online, FSB Business Profiling allows us to see how we are being perceived and then take control of our online reputation.” All FSB members can claim two free reports for their business. Visit: www. fsbbusinessprofiling.com THE VOICE FSB’S REGIONAL TEAM LOOK FORWARD TO A BRIGHT 2017 FSB APPROVES NEW AND AMBITIOUS PLANS FOR THE FUTURE Nationally, FSB is part way through the largest change programme in its history and has recently approved a five-year plan for the longer term. This touches every aspect of the way we operate from the technology we use, the benefits package for our members and our branding and communication channels. The small business market is changing and FSB is adapting to this change. It has very much led UK economic growth in recent years and many more individuals are willing to take the plunge and become their own boss. The number of new Start Ups has grown to record levels, making FSB more relevant to an increasing proportion of the working population. Members will see we have modernised our brand and, in 2017, we will move forward with new joining categories and new benefits. These will include FSB Marketplace, a trading portal for members and a business profiling tool highlighted in this edition of Voice. Nicolae Trofin, newly-elected FSB Chairman for 1066 Country, commented: “We will continue to develop the way we run our business networking and provide opportunities for our Membership Advisers to help members maximise their use of FSB benefits.” www.fsb.org.uk PAGE 11

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