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Representatives from the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) from Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight recently arranged a meeting with a number of local MPs from the region to discuss concerns impacting small businesses.

Attending the meeting with FSB representatives, were Mims Davies (MP for Eastleigh), Richard Drax (MP for South Dorset), Alan Mak (MP for Havant), Royston Smith (MP for Southampton Itchen), Alan Whitehead (MP for Southampton Test) and representatives from the Offices of Caroline Dinenage (MP for Gosport) and Flick Drummond (MP for Portsmouth South).

Key issues were raised and discussed including the urgent need for improved local infrastructure and broadband provision. There is a clear acceptance that broadband issues are not just rural concern and that still a quarter of all businesses have a less than 5mb download speed.

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The closure of local bank branches was also highlighted as an area of concern for local businesses, and with more closures due in 2017, greater engagement between businesses, banks and government is absolutely vital.

Another issue of concern relates to fulfilling the requirement for quarterly account reporting. Concerns regarding both an increase in cost to the business and also the availability of resources have been expressed by many local businesses.

In light of recent events this year, local concerns relating to BREXIT were also touched upon. FSB is currently gaining views from its 170,000 members nationwide, and 9,500 members within Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, which will be presented to Government. Concerns are clear but small businesses are being resilient and will try to make the most of all available opportunities.

A very positive meeting and with all MPs clearly supportive of the concerns of their local small business communities. FSB will continue to work closely with local MPs to ensure small business views are represented.

Neil Eames, Development Manager for FSB in Dorset, Hampshire and Isle of Wight said:

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“It was encouraging to see a number of our local MPs very keen to engage and listen to the concerns of many small businesses. There are clearly many challenges but we look forward to working together to secure a stable and nurturing environment for businesses to grow and to succeed.”

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