Manifesto spells out the path to recovery

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The Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland recently launched its manifesto for May’s Scottish Parliament elections.

In it the business group sets out how the right decisions at Holyrood in areas such as business support, procurement, regulation, planning and finance could help the country’s army of small businesses create badly needed jobs and lead the economy back to growth.

Entitled “The journey back – How small businesses can drive the recovery”, the manifesto features a series of policy proposals, alongside the real-life experiences of some of the FSB’s 20,000 Scottish members.

Moira Gash, Chairperson of the local FSB, said: “The forthcoming Scottish Parliament election campaign will see the economy, jobs and enterprise put front and centre.  It is a great opportunity to debate in detail how we can help Scotland’s small businesses do what they do best – create jobs, revenues and economic activity.

“The FSB’s strong member-led policy development, supported by our hard-working staff, means we have a solid document which makes practical proposals backed by strong evidence.

“There is no doubt that small businesses are the country’s job creators. 

Despite everything which has come our way in recent years, Scottish small businesses still employ some 800,000 people – with no looming threats of relocation if they don’t get their own way. 

The small business community is the business community and we hope that our politicians will work with the FSB to see some of these ideas developed.”

More details of the publication can be found at www.fsb.org.uk/scotland/election2011

Mail

collection

charge scrapped

Royal Mail has scrapped plans to force businesses to pay for collecting their post from delivery offices, it has been revealed.

The move has been hailed as a victory by the FSB, which has been arguing against the £210 charge, set to come in on April 4.

Moira Gash said:“We did feel it was a bit rich for Royal Mail to try and charge us for effectively doing their job for them. 

But, they are to be congratulated for listening to our arguments and scrapping this proposed charge.

Small businesses rely on the postal service and are some of Royal Mail’s most loyal customers.  We receive orders, invoices and cheques in the post every day and, if we want them turned round by return, we need to receive the post as early as possible.  By allowing us to continue to collect it direct from the office, we are saving both ourselves and Royal Mail valuable time.”

Royal Mail’s Mail Collect service enables businesses to collect their mail from their delivery office from 8:30am until closing time. 

This is particularly useful for businesses that do not normally receive mail deliveries until later in the day, or who are concerned about the safety of their mail in, for example, shared premises.”

Royal Mail had proposed to introduce an annual charge of £210 to use this service.  However, following pressure from the FSB on behalf of its members, the service will remain free.

Tobacco

Register

The new Scottish Tobacco Retail Register is a provision of the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010. If you sell tobacco products, you have between now and October 1 to register.

Failure to do so by October 1 will mean you’re selling tobacco illegally.

At the moment registration is free and the FSB are assured that registration is quick. 

To register, visit: www.tobaccoregisterscotland.org or call 0131 244 2169.