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The week in small business news, by the FSB

Create a Small Business Administration, says FSB
A separate Government body with a seat in Cabinet to defend the interests of small firms should be created at the heart of Whitehall to ensure that the voice of small businesses is at the heart of Government, the FSB has told the Chancellor in its Budget submission. Read the press release, view the submission and read coverage on Reuters, NEBusiness, SMEWeb and SMWire.

Vince Cable calls for a Business Bank
The FSB welcomed calls by the Business Secretary to turn RBS into a Business Bank and that the Government needs to take a more proactive stance to strengthen the recovery. Read comments in the Financial Times, Mirror and on the BBC, which welcome the debate and further our calls for a Small Business Administration.

Credit easing to be launched before Budget
The Chancellor announced this week that its National Loan Guarantee Scheme – or credit easing – will be available before the Budget on 21 March. Read the FSB’s comments in the Independent and Guardian.

Parliamentary update
Around 10 MPs attended a speed briefing in Parliament this week to discuss the FSB’s Budget submission and proposals to establish a UK Small Business Administration as well as the alternative finance paper and other key Budget asks.

Government spending with small businesses up, but still more to be done
The FSB welcomed a Government announcement this week that central government spending with small businesses has increased. The FSB has long called for better procurement opportunities for small firms and has said that the momentum must be kept up for the Government to achieve its target. Read coverage in the Daily Telegraph and Daily Express.

Lending down to small businesses
A report launched this week showed that businesses applying for loans for the first time are likely to be refused. Read comments in the Daily Mail and find out more about what FSB members said on bank lending in our Member Survey.

Become a mentor
The FSB has joined forces with Get Mentoring to encourage more business people to become a mentor to support professional development. You’ll get plugged into mentoring activities across the UK which will put you in contact with mentees and other mentors. In addition, you will gain a wider understanding of the issues and challenges facing small businesses, which will enhance your own working life and outlook.

Social entrepreneur of the year
Community Channel has partnered with The Sunday Times to launch The Change Makers, a campaign to find the social entrepreneur of the year. You can nominate inspirational social entrepreneurs that have a significant positive impact on the community. The closing date for entries is Wednesday 28 March 2012 at 12pm and you can follow on Twitter @comchantv.

The Hotel looking for new recruits
Dragonfly Film and Television is looking for an independently run hotel to feature in the third series of The Hotel. Email for more information and an application form.

Follow the FSB on Facebook
You can follow the activities of the FSB by joining our official fanpage on Facebook. Become a fan to view regularly updated events, photo galleries, lobbying information and have the opportunity to add your own photos and discuss current small business issues.

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