Giving you a voice
where it counts

We’ve been helping small businesses get their voices heard on the issues that matter to them and affecting real change for 37 years

Support our business
ethics campaign

The Forum has been the watchdog for big business ethics abuse for over a decade, helping businesses to get their voices heard on the issues that matter to them and singling out a number of big companies for their poor payment practices. But late payment is just one issue among many other unethical practices conducted by big business. We’re calling on independent business owners to call out those big businesses which have been allowed to get away with too much for too long at the detriment of honest, small businesses.

Getting Britain Trading

We want to create best possible conditions to run and grow a small business in the UK, so all of our policy work is focused on Getting Britain Trading.  We do this through focused lobbying and practical support for businesses in the following areas.

  • Reducing the cost of compliance

    Reducing the cost of compliance

    Our members tell us that complying with complex employment, health & safety and tax legislation is one of the biggest obstacles to success. That’s why we campaign for a simple system that doesn’t disproportionately affect smaller businesses.

    We were instrumental in delaying pensions auto-enrolment process for small businesses until 2015 at the earliest.
    We secured a more sympathetic introduction of Real Time Information, allowing small businesses more leeway in reporting PAYE.
  • Creating sustainable business growth

    Creating sustainable business growth

    Whilst signs of economic growth are positive, we believe that businesses need more support to achieve sustainable growth. We do this by helping affect change where there are barriers to growth, as well as providing practical support to help you grow.

    Rerouting public funding for apprenticeships through employers rather than providers was confirmed in the 2013 Autumn Statement following our lobbying based on member panel research.
    We’re advising government on the new Regulators’ Code, which will provide challenge opportunities for small businesses when they feel regulators have acted unfairly.
  • Improving access to finance

    Improving access to finance

    Access to finance is key to sustainable growth, so we work with the government, banks and innovative new finance providers to improve businesses chances of accessing finance, as well as leading on the issue of late payment to small businesses. Practical help is also available to members on accessing and managing finance.

    We worked hard to ensure the Payments Council introduced a one week account switching process, making it easier for businesses to switch banks with no costs to the business.
    Our lobbying has seen Government start to take the issue of late payment seriously, by signing up more FTSE 350 companies to the Prompt Payment Code.
  • Reducing the cost of doing business

    Reducing the cost of doing business

    Business costs are rising and 76% of businesses feel like they have not been able to put up their prices to match the increase. As well as helping our members to get the best deals, we also influence policy in areas such as fuel, energy and taxation.

    We successfully lobbied for the extension of Small Business Rate Relief and the cap on business rate increases, which was included in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.
    Chancellor also announced a freeze of fuel duty in the Autumn statement following our recommendation

Making a real difference

We regularly represent our members at a local and national level by sending their views to their MPs, giving them the chance to give evidence to government and by getting their stories in the media.

  • Get Britain Trading campaign

    In February 2011 we launched our campaign to Get Britain Trading with the main aim of raising awareness of the massive contribution small firms make to the economy, with small businesses employing almost half of the UK workforce and contributing over...

    Read full case study
  • Late payment 'Hall of Shame'

    Late payment can have a crippling effect on small firms and we continue to campaign against the practise of companies delaying payment.As well as lobbying for tougher legislation and for businesses to sign up to the Prompt Payment Code, we name and s...

    Read full case study

View more case studies

What members say

Our ongoing research is compiled into reports and the results used in consultations to provide policy-makers and legislators with the evidence they need to consider smaller businesses in their decisions. Copies of these can be downloaded from the sections below.