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Over the last 35 years, we have developed our reputation with MPs, the civil service and other decision-makers as the voice of the small employer.
We also monitor proposals from Whitehall and Westminster, Holyrood, Cardiff and Brussels, to gauge potential effects on small businesses in the UK and let our members know about them.

The Forum in Westminster

  • We run the All Party Parliamentary Group on small businesses, which holds regular meetings to hear from key Ministers as well as our members.

  • We often give evidence to parliamentary committees, covering topics such as exporting, youth unemployment, apprenticeships, intellectual property and taxation.

  • We regularly meet with Ministers, shadows Ministers, key backbench MPs and special advisers to raise issues our members are experiencing.

  • We have a consistent presence at the main parliamentary conferences.

  • Our successful Business Buddy scheme has helped more than 100 businesses spend time with their local MP.

Working in Whitehall

  • We work with all government departments to encourage consistency in legislation.

  • In the past year, we have been invited to sit on advisory panels for policy development in business support, education, employment law, energy and pensions.

  • We promote closer working between key government departments and our members. For instance, this year we have placed more than 20 senior HMRC officials with one of our members to gain an understanding of running a business.

  • We are a key stakeholder in major government initiatives, including recently the Business in You, Trading for Good and Inspiring the Future campaigns.

How we work with the devolved assemblies

  • Our Referendum research allows us to lobby on issues specific to our Welsh and Scottish members.

  • We also sit on the Secretary of State's advisory panels for Wales and Scotland, the First Minister's quarterly business roundtable and contribute to major consultations that affect our members.

  • You can also find out more about our Get Scotland Trading campaign.

Working in Europe

  • We formerly sat on and still maintain close links with UEAPME, a key business advisory body to the European Commission.

  • We have close links with key European officials both in Brussels and London, to ensure we know about upcoming business regulation first.

  • We supported a freeze on new EU policy for micro-businesses and closely monitor whether this initiative is working for our members.

If you'd like to know more about our policy work, email

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Whatever challenges you face in your business, the Forum can support you with a package of member services, including timely advice and information designed to help you protect and grow your business and save you money.

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