Leveraging SMEs In The UK: Dinis Guarda Interviews Arminder Purewal, Membership Advisor At Federation Of Small Businesses

Dinis Guarda interviews Arminder Purewal, Membership Advisor at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), in the latest episode of his YouTube Podcast series. The two discuss how FSB is leveraging its members with services and networking opportunities to evolve the overall business landscape in the UK, especially for SMEs. The podcast is powered by Businessabc.net and citiesabc.com.

Leveraging SMEs In The UK: Dinis Guarda Interviews Arminder Purewal, Membership Advisor At Federation Of Small Businesses

Arminder is an entrepreneur, mentor, and advisor with over 20 years of business experience. As the Membership Advisor of Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), he is helping the self-employed and small businesses access legal support, HR, tax investigation, health and safety, and much more.

Being at FSB, my aim is to share my knowledge and give back to the community of business owners. It’s important for me to be able to help and support businesses”, he told Dinis.

During the interview, Arminder told Dinis that FSB was set up 50 years ago in Blackpool, UK. A member-led, not-for-profit and non-party political organisation, FSB is a lobbying organisation representing small firms and the self-employed to UK, national, local and devolved government.

As the Membership Advisor of FSB, he highlighted that the organisation has over 160,000 members, funded through membership. He also explained that FSB offers a range of services to its members, including legal advice, business banking, insurance, networking opportunities, and access to resources for business development and growth.

FSB offers services and support for its member businesses they might need quite often and on a day-to-day basis”, he told Dinis.

Federation of Small Businesses: A non profit representing SMEs in the UK

According to the UK government statistics, there were 5.6 million businesses in the UK as of October 2023, making 99.05% of the overall UK business landscape. The study also highlights that although the number of SMEs have grown from 4,477,000 to 5,547,000 since 2010, about 4,110,145 have no employees.

Speaking about the challenges that SMEs face in the digital age, Arminder told Dinis that it ranges from technological adoption hurdles to cybersecurity threats and intensified competition. SMEs often struggle to keep pace with rapid technological advancements, facing difficulties in integrating digital tools and platforms into their operations effectively. Limited financial resources and expertise further compound these challenges, making it challenging for SMEs to invest in cutting-edge technology and digital transformation initiatives.

Highlighting the role of FSB in such challenging situations, Arminder told Dinis:

If you imagine big corporate companies, they usually have different departments, like HR, legal, accounting, PR, etc. But a general business might not have a large building block with all those departments. This is where the Federation helps, because we give all those support services to our members 24/7.”

He further explained that FSB is also a lobbying organisation representing small firms and the self-employed to UK, national, local and devolved governments. “The objective is to get businesses working”, he says.

The previous lobbying efforts by FEB have led to beneficial changes for small businesses, including the establishment and periodic enhancements of an Employment Allowance for small business employers, swift implementation and extension of governmental aid for small businesses and self-employed individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme), relief measures like business rates relief and grants, reductions or eliminations of Corporation Tax for small limited companies, the institution of small business rates relief, and the prevention of extensive VAT expansion to smaller businesses under the existing threshold.

Arminder also highlighted that FSB hosts a variety of networking events designed to foster connections, collaboration, and growth opportunities among its members. These events provide a platform for entrepreneurs and small business owners to engage with like-minded individuals, exchange ideas, and form valuable partnerships. From local meetups and workshops to larger-scale conferences and industry forums, FSB networking events offer a diverse range of opportunities for businesses to connect and thrive.

The objective of these events is to keep them straightforward and simple for people to be able to get together and connect. For me, it’s important that businesses engage with as many different people as possible. It is at these events, they get the contacts that they need to help them grow”, says Arminder.