BUSINESS leader Ken Moon is taking a key role in the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shake-up.

An East Hampshire district councillor for Clanfield and Finchdean, and former Hampshire county councillor, Ken Moon has been appointed Wessex Regional chairman of the FSB and will lead on local grassroots campaigning.

This restructuring of the FSB will see a renewed focus on collective campaigning, both from a national and grassroots perspective across 12 major areas of the UK, overseen by regional leadership groups made up of key FSB members and staff situated at local level.

Mr Moon said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed to this key role and want to ensure that the voice of small businesses across the South Central Region is heard. Bringing together businesses throughout Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, along with those in Reading, Oxford and Buckinghamshire, is vitally important in such an economically active area of the UK.

“We are particularly keen to continue the ground-breaking work that we have undertaken in Hampshire where we have worked closely with local councils to encourage the sharing of best practice to support the development of the small business community.

“Similarly, we will also be looking to replicate the success of a recent Heathrow procurement event which, with more than 100 small business owners in attendance, helped clarify the procurement process for accessing opportunities for the building of the Heathrow third runway.”

And he added: “The FSB exists to promote an environment in which small businesses can survive and thrive, and we are eager to ensure that locally we are able to effectively represent our members and help drive the improvement of local government delivery and performance to support our local business community.”

The FSB’s Tim Colman said: “I’m really pleased to have been chosen as the regional policy representative which will allow me to campaign on the issues which really matter to small businesses.

“We will continue to lobby local MPs, councils and local enterprise partnerships throughout the region in order to represent small business interests. There are many issues which can have a dramatic impact on smaller businesses and it is vital that small businesses are involved in any economic decisions for our communities.”

Mike Cherry, national chairman of the FSB, said: “Volunteers are crucial to the FSB’s success as it’s only by drawing on the experience of our members who run their own small businesses that FSB is able to be such a strong campaigning voice – locally and nationally. Therefore, I want to congratulate Ken Moon and Tim Colman on their new roles. I know they will be a strong advocate for businesses across Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and throughout the Thames Valley.

“The FSB was founded to enable grassroots activists to fight for change. As we look back over the last year, we can celebrate a number of significant wins for our members – £6.7bn taken out of the business rates regime, the scrapping of NICs increases for the self-employed and reforms to Making Tax Digital – all sparked by our members being vocal at local level.

“Looking forward, we need to increase our focus on effectively mobilising the FSB’s grassroots activists. That means creating an environment that’s goal led, and where any small business owner from any background or walk of life can contribute to the campaigns they care about.

“This restructure is about ensuring all of our members have their voices heard and are equipped with the tools they need to create change. That is, after all, where the FSB has its roots.”