Knowing where to look for reliable business support can be confusing. As well as the places to look mentioned in our guide entitled Why use support groups?, there are some big organisations aimed specifically at helping people like you. This guide outlines the most popular three:
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is the UK's largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms. It helps put the opinions and issues of small businesses across to government and the media. The FSB has 230 local branches across the UK, and over 215,000 members. If you become a member (prices start at £150 per year), you get discounts on a range of businesses services and events. Visit the FSB's website at www.fsb.org.uk, or give them a call on 01253 336 000.
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) fights for fair treatment of private businesses and supports the profitable growth of members. It represents 25,000 UK-based private businesses, saving them money on things like insurance and providing support with all aspects of running a smaller business.Visit www.fpb.org or call 0845 130 1722 for more information or membership, which starts at £200.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is split into lots of local chambers, and describes itself as the ultimate business network. Your local chamber will provide you with representation, services, information and guidance when you become a member. The BCC as a whole also works with the government to make policies as fair as possible for small businesses. Talk to your local branch about membership and what it costs - visit www.britishchambers.org.uk or call 020 7654 5800.
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