ENCOURAGING employment figures have been welcomed by lobbying organisation the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

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With 3,400 members across Hertfordshire and more than 200,000 across the country, the FSB is not only the largest campaigning pressure group, but is applying pressure to MPs and Government on behalf of the self employed and the owners of small firms.

Hertfordshire development managers Caron Kendall said: “The FSB has lots to say to Government and are seeking to ensure the voice of small business is heard at every level.

“On the recently released employment figures, we are encouraged by the recent fall in the number of unemployed. “We believe more people, particularly women, are setting up their own business and we’d like Government, national and local, to provide support for these people, through mentoring and financial assistance where needed so their businesses can succeed and they can look to create jobs.”

Pam Charman, chairman of FSB’s Hertfordshire branch added: “Although it is good news that long-term unemployment is falling, a growing number of these people have gone onto Government supported training and jobs programmes and are no longer classed as unemployed in the figures.

“It is vital these people go on to find a job.”

Commenting on the recent snow disruption affecting the country, she added: “Here in Hertfordshire small businesses are resilient and resourceful; putting plans in place and offering flexible working hours they will do their best to carry on.

“However, many small firms will find that staff are unable to make it to work due to snow-bound roads and school closures which mean parents have to stay at home to look after their children.”

FSB research after the heavy snowfall in 2011 showed a quarter of small firms had to close, many for at least five days costing them up to £5,000.

For more information about the FSB visit www.FSB.org.uk call 01525 875866 or email caron.kendall@fsb.org.uk

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