I am delighted to be able to report to you on what has been a busy few months for us here in Essex, and that level of activity is likely to continue over the coming months as a new crop of MPs settles in, we work hard with local authorities on issues such as business rates relief and broadband and our events programme continues.
You will have noticed that we have renamed our networking as FSBConnect. Across the country are FSBConnect meetings providing business opportunities for local businesses to attend and grow their business. Any business from any part of the country can attend these meetings, so if you are away on business and there will likely be a meeting nearby that you can attend if you wish. Visit http://www.fsb.org.uk/events/fsb-connect to find out more. Here in Essex we have three FSBConnect meetings a month; in Colchester, Chelmsford and Southend so book in and take the opportunity to meet new businesses in your area. You can view all of our events here http://www.fsb.org.uk/regions/essex/essex-events
High on our list of priorities is business rates. Following the revaluation earlier this year we are meeting with local councils across Essex to ensure that they understand the importance of supporting local small businesses, and particularly in ensuring that their share of the £350 million discretionary fund announced by the Chancellor earlier this year is clearly communicated and given to the business community where it is needed. If your business rates have risen as a result of the revaluation in April then contact your local council and ask them how to apply.
I look forward to meeting you out and about or at our events