The Forum of Private Business is launching a ‘Get Britain Trading’ campaign to coincide with the Article 50 trigger on Brexit.
Positioned with the objective of working with small businesses to increase their performance and productivity in both home and overseas markets, at the heart of the initiative is a programme for Forum members to host politicians and share with them the challenges they face in running their businesses.

Backed by pro-remain ex-Chancellor George Osborne, the ‘Get Britain Trading’ campaign has six key elements:

1. Helping to improve the performance and productivity of members

2. Re-launching the ‘Hall of Shame’ to highlight bad behaviour of UK businesses, which damage the trust and reputation of UK PLC.

3. Ethical and compliant behaviour from businesses, for which the Forum has developed an Ethical Workbook and a Compliance Handbook, both of which are being circulated to members in the coming months.

4. Creation of a Business Partner Scheme, with members registering to host Ministers, local MPs, Civil Servants and Educational Establishments to come and work within their businesses for a few hours, and gain a deeper understanding of the issues that they face on a day to day basis.

5. Provision of clear and direct feedback from members to Government with a view to ensuring all initiatives from Government are kept simple and workable.

6. Lobbying for a smooth Brexit transition and for a favourable post Brexit business environment, across the Forum’s already issued Post Brexit Plan.
This covers:
• Clear communication of Brexit negotiations
• Creating the right business environment
• Rewarding successful entrepreneurs
• Simplification of the tax system
• Removal of unnecessary red tape
• A focus on education addressing skills gaps
• Promotion of good business practices, such as healthcare
• Regional rebalancing of the UK economy

Ex-Chancellor George Osborne commented, ‘I welcome the campaign being launched by the Forum of Private Business to get Britain trading more. Small businesses and entrepreneurs play an important role in our economy and we all need to understand their needs and aspirations by working together.’

Ian Cass, Chief Executive of the Forum of Private Business added, ‘A one percent increase in productivity achieved across the UK macro economy would add almost £20 billion to our national output. It would also reduce the annual government deficit by around £8 billion, add £250 a year to the average wage packet and increase annual profits across the country by almost £3.5 billion. Small rises in business productivity have a massive impact and as we look towards a post-Brexit UK, it is critical that we create the environment for businesses to contribute to these.
It is also becoming increasingly clear that the government, Minister and MP’s do not fully understand how small businesses work, their challenges and opportunities. There are also a wide variety of small business, many with different challenges and issues. As these businesses make up the largest part of the UK economy we would like to try and help government to get closer to them and understand the needs of the sector as well as the impact of their actions on the businesses. We are therefore encouraging our members to sign up to the campaign and open their doors to Ministers and MPs to go in and spend some time working and more fully understanding this highly entrepreneurial sector who we will be relying on to “Get Britain Trading”.’

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About Forum of Private Business

The Forum of Private Business is a not-for-profit comprehensive business support organisation founded in 1977. Our membership is spread throughout the UK and primarily made up of companies that employ between 1-50 employees, helping them to manage employees, saving time, giving advice, support and protection where a business needs it.

We are a recognised leading authority on business issues and represent the interests of business owners on many consultative bodies. We have built a solid reputation, being influential in many areas of policy-making, in changing laws that affect small businesses, and we continue to campaign for the fair treatment of businesses within the UK.

Everything we do is about making sure our members’ businesses operate profitably. This means that every penny we make goes back in to supporting our members, providing the support and resources that will enable businesses to flourish and grow.