Businesses have the option of getting involved in political issues surrounding hot topics that affect the corporate world. The government frequently makes decisions that affects entire industries in some way or another, often to hamper sections of those markets.
These decisions can include things like the state of business rates, governmental policies that directly affect a business’ operations, or simply laws that come into affect that originate either UK or EU origins.
You would be forgiven for thinking political activism is reserved for larger businesses but this is not necessarily true. As a small business, you have a very powerful voice that will, or at least should be, noticed by a ruling government.
Here are some options open to you to get you started if you’re interested in making your voice heard a little more.
1) The FSB
We would be remiss if this wasn’t at the top of the list – one of the main functions of the Federation of Small Businesses is to provide a voice for small businesses and act as a lobbying group to amplify that voice.
The FSB is frequently running campaigns to tackle current business issues, for example the Keep Trade Local campaign which it is running at the moment, and you can see what you can get involved with by heading over to the main FSB site.
If you want to keep up with what the FSB are doing as well, they do regularly publish information on their site about what their Westminster team are up to and what sort of pressure they are putting on the government. They also get a lot of media mentions across many different publications, so the FSB are definitely effective at getting the voice of small business amplified.
2) Other lobbying groups
The FSB is not the only lobbying group that is set up to voice the concerns of small businesses. Lots of lobbying groups pop up all the time to support entire industries or sometimes just to combat a specific policy.
As an example, pubs banded together to lobby the government over concerns about the beer tax escalator policy and due in part to their pressure, the government did revise the policy to give the hospitality a bit of a break. This was something specific to one trade and addressing one particular issue and instances of this sort of thing happen all over the place.
3) Your local Chamber of Commerce
The local Chamber of Commerce is as you will know basically a local council for businesses instead of residents. Getting involved in this can be an excellent way to stay on top of more local political developments that might be affecting your business.
There is normally a fee to join, but the Chamber of Commerce also doubles as an excellent way for you to network as a business and a lot of strong trading partnerships start at their meetings.
4) Open letters
A letter that you write to a specific person or organisation but publish online can be another simple way to get involved and express your political opinions. With the ubiquitous accessibility to the internet, everyone is able to publish pretty much whatever they like and so putting your political grievances into words and publishing them when you feel strongly enough about a particular topic can definitely get you and your view noticed.
This is even more effective if you get your open letter signed by more like-minded businesses and once you start attracting more support behind your opinion, then it is more likely to generate some decent press attention and gather more steam that way.
Think of an open letter as a petition, but one with a little more thought and practicality behind it. Instead of signatures supporting an often vague sentiment, this is something addressed to someone specific that often suggests solutions to the problem as well as highlighting that you are not happy with the issue in question.
These are just some ideas to get you started. Are you active in business politics? If so, why not leave us a comment below and tell us about it?