As England’s businesses face the first day of a new set month-long trading restrictions Boston Borough Council have stepped in with a lifeline for the town’s small firms and self-employed workers. A new scheme launched today will help support the borough’s independent businesses to navigate the various ongoing economic, employment, legal and mental health challenges.
We have teamed up with the Lincolnshire arm of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to offer heavily discounted membership – which includes access to a huge range of vital business support services, discounts, events and advice, from business banking to 24/7 legal advice – to all small businesses and self-employed workers within the Boston Borough district.
We are subsidising FSB membership, opting to pay the first £50 of the usual fee and FSB are waiving the usually mandatory £30 cost of joining, totalling a significant £80 discount. That means sole traders can join from as little as £97, way down from a typical £177.
Cllr Nigel Welton, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economic Development at Boston Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to be able to work in partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses to offer this service to our local independent businesses in such trying times. The support which is to be offered is outstanding and we hope many of our businesses will benefit from this offer across the borough.”
Katrina Pierce, FSB’s Development Manager for Lincolnshire said this morning: “I am delighted to be working with Boston Borough to deliver direct support to the town’s small business and self-employed. This is a difficult time for businesses in Boston; it’s been an incredibly tough year already and now as many local businesses would now be gearing up the busy festive period we are facing a month-long lockdown. We want to do all we can to help practically support the town’s independent firms and sole traders to get through this and it’s honestly so fantastic that Boston has opted to work with us and really power up their support. Together we can give local firms valuable, instant access to every business support service any business could need at this time. I am looking forward to helping the council to roll out this offer and to welcoming new members to our network as soon as possible.”
Once Boston-area businesses take up the subsidised membership, they can access the full package of business support which will help firms across the UK to plan their recovery, manage their HR issues and get to grips with their legal obligations alongside 165,000 other businesses around the UK. The full membership package includes:
- 24/7 FSB Legal Protection hotline and online hub of legal documents, employment protection and HR guidance including information on the furlough scheme
- Tax Investigation Protection – members have automatic access to comprehensive and free tax advice and tax investigation insurance
- FSB Workplace Pensions A straightforward and cost-effective solution specifically designed to help small businesses ensure their workplace pension scheme is fully compliant.
- Free Business Banking with the Co-operative Bank
- FSB Debt Recovery late payment tools to help SMEs to get paid on time and in full
- FSB Care – a hotline for business owners to seek advice on support on mental and physical health concerns
- FSB Cash Advance – access to fast, flexible funding with no hidden repayment fees.
- £10k of built-in FSB Cyber Protection insurance to projected websites, databases and email systems
- FSB Funding Platform which makes seeking out available and relevant business funding easy
- Health and Safety Advice
- Insurance service
- PR/Crisis helpline
- Regular free events, webinars and networking dates
Councils across the UK have been partnering with FSB to offer this discounted membership following a surge in demand for the FSB’s comprehensive support. Boston now joins West Lindsey District Council as the only two local authorities in Lincolnshire to offer this support to their businesses.
FSB has been supporting small businesses and the self-employed since 1974 and since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis has lobbied hard for fair support for the UK’s vital small business community. The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak launched the Job Retention Scheme, Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and Small Business Grants were launched following talks with the FSB in Westminster. Locally, FSB Lincolnshire has offered front-line guidance, support and virtual events for the county’s SMEs and sole traders and is therefore best placed to help local businesses to recover and grow.
To apply for the discounted membership, go to https://www.mybostonuk.com/fsb-membership/.