2021 has followed 2020 in being a turbulent time for small businesses and the self-employed.
At FSB, we are doing all we can to make the case for more support from the government for this important sector, which employs more than 60% of the private sector. But, one day, when COVID is confined to history, and the economy has recovered, we are interested in making sure the smallest businesses continue to make headlines, and for all the right reasons, with positive news.
This involves raising their profile (Handy Mag marketing is a great way to do this!). And there are some great opportunities for businesses to get plans in place now for reopening and the lifting of restrictions.
We are seeing lots of promising new start-up companies locally, and also expansions of existing small businesses. COVID really doesn’t just have to be all bad news. Lots of new collaborations and opportunities have risen up from the pandemic, and if we can build resilience into our local small businesses by supporting them, our local economy will be quicker to recover than most.
As a small business owner, you do not need to feel alone: there is lots of support available. At FSB, we are happy to chat or link you up with local partners to help or take care of your business.
4 opportunities right now, just to start with…
1. Stand out from the crowd with The Good Business Charter
Small businesses can differentiate themselves from the competition by following a simple sign-up process to showcase their good practice; most will find they are already doing the work practices anyway or are working towards the goals set in the charter, but putting the seal of approval on your business can show your customers you really mean business! FSB has worked with the GBC to make this process accessible for small business of any size: www.fsb.org.uk/campaign/gbc.html
2. Take advantage of the free Local Enterprise Partnership support
The York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub is an impartial and super useful place to get answers to all your business questions, including funding, business support and local information. They are running a fantastic events programme with lots of hot topics for small businesses, which are well worth signing up for, and a new programme called Grow Greener, based on helping small businesses benefit from the circular economy. More info: www.ynygrowthhub.com.
3. Register with the NYCC Buy Local platform
Helping to link local businesses and services with local customers. This platform will continue beyond the pandemic and is a great way to keep trade local and support the local economy whether you’re a business or a customer looking to support local businesses. buylocal.northyorks.gov.uk/
4. Join the FSB!
I would say this, but it is, as our members often say, “a no brainer”. You can have the support and back-up of the most influential and trusted organisation for small businesses, with resources, vital business services, including legal and employment protection, and a powerful campaigning voice—and membership starts from £147 a year.
If you don’t want to join right now, there are also lots of free resources, including our COVID support hub, so it’s worth a visit for some small business inspiration. All our events are online and open to non-members too. North Yorkshire Monday Motivation is an open invite every month (2nd Monday 3.30pm) and you just sign up on the events section of our website: www.fsb.org.uk/join-us.html.